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Monograph on Fuel Elements


Preparation of the Monograph “Fuel Elements with Vibropacked Oxide Fuel”

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-FUE/Reactor Fuels and Fuel Engineering/Fission Reactors
  • FIR-ENG/Reactor Engineering and NPP/Fission Reactors

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
NIIAR (Atomic Reactors), Russia, Ulianovsk reg., Dimitrovgrad


  • CEA / DEN, France, Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex\nAREVA / AREVA NC, France, Velizy\nOak Ridge National Laboratory, USA, TN, Oak Ridge\nPESCO Co., Ltd., Japan, Tokyo\nArgonne National Laboratory (ANL) / Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative, USA, IL, Argonne

Project summary

The purpose of the project is to provide information-analytical substantiation of the possibilities of using special technological and radiation-thermal properties of granulated oxide fuel and vibropacked fuel rods with fuel of this type in fast and thermal reactors.

The principle project task: compilation, systematization, integration and analysis of scientific and technical information concerning properties of (UO2, UO2+PuO2,
2,) granulated oxide fuel, fabrication technologies of vibropacked fuel rods with fuel of this type and radiation-thermal effects in these fuel rods.

The project consists of the following parts:

  • description of theoretical models and principles of vibration compaction of granulated fuel
  • description of technological techniques and equipment applied to fuel vibropacking in fuel rod claddings
  • description and optimization of vibropacking parameters and conditions, which effect the fuel column quality
  • substantiation of structural and technological solutions for granulated oxide fuel and fuel rods with this type of fuel selected for implementation at RIAR
  • description and analysis of radiation-thermal effects revealed during irradiation and post-irradiation examination of vibropacked oxide fuel rods and experimental fuel rods with fuels of this type fabricated at RIAR
  • description and analysis of the Russian experience on fabrication, irradiation and post-irradiation of large-scale fuel assemblies with vibropacked oxide fuel
  • description and analysis of the foreign experience with vibropacked oxide fuel

Contents of the monograph “Fuel elements with vibropacked oxide fuel”.



1.1. Basic vibropacking principles
1.2. Statistical vibropacking model for powder granular materials


2.1. Fuel compaction by infiltration method
2.2. Vibropacking of powder fuel mixtures
2.3. Vibration parameters and conditions

2.3.1. Effect of the granulometric composition on smear density of the vibropacked fuel column
2.3.2. Effect of sinusoidal vibrations on smear density
2.3.3. Effect of the sinusoidal vibrations form on the powder compaction
2.3.4. Effect of nonharmonic vibrations (white noise) on the density of the vibropacked fuel column
2.3.5 Study of the cladding tension arising in the cladding during fabrication of vibropacked fuel rods
2.3.6. Quality of the vibropacked fuel column

2.4. Vibropacking equipment


3.1. Design of the fuel rod with vibropacked oxide fuel
3.2. Fuel rods fabrication flowsheet


4.1. Reconfiguration
4.2. Thermal conductivity of vibropacked oxide fuel
4.3. Integrated thermal conductivity model of vibropacked oxide fuel
4.4. Conductivity of the gap between the vibropacked fuel column and cladding
4.5. Gas release
4.6. Formation and migration of fission products
4.7. Radial redistribution of plutonium content
4.8. Basic factors effecting the performance of oxide fuel rods

4.8.1. Physical-chemical interaction between fuel and cladding
4.8.2. Thermomechanical fuel-to-cladding interaction
4.8.3. Failure of fuel rods during operation


5.1. Russian experience (RIAR)

5.1.1. Fast reactor fuel rods

5.2. US experience
5.3. UK experience in development of vibropacked oxide (UPu)O2 fuel

5.3.1. Performance characteristics of vibropacked fuel rod tested in the DFR
5.3.2. Testing experience in the PFR

5.4. Belgium experience
5.5. Experience of other countries



  1. V.A. Tsykanov, Ye.F. Davydov, A.A. Mayorshin et al. Vibropacking Technology, Radiation Tests of Vibropacked Fuel and Prospects of Its Use in Nuclear Power Engineering. Survey, Dimitrovgrad, RIAR, 1982, p.43.
  2. R. Bunk, U. Leske, A.A. Mayorshin et al. Operation of the Experimental Facility for Fabrication of BOR-60 Fuel Assemblies and Rods with Vibropacked Fuel, Atomic energy, 1989, Vol.67, No.5, pp.320-323.
  3. O.V. Skiba, A.A. Mayorshin, P.T. Porodnov, et al. Experience with Handling of Power Grade Plutonium during Fabrication of Fuel, Fuel Rods and Fuel Assemblies for Fast Reactors. Proceedings “Closed Fuel Cycle: Pyroelectrochemistry, Vibropacking Technology, Fuel Rods”. Dimitrovgrad, SSC RIAR, 1994, Vol.1, pp.36-43.
  4. A.A. Mayorshin, V.A. Tsykanov, V.N. Golovanov et al. Development and Testing of Fast Reactor Fuel Rods with Vibropacked Oxide Fuel, Atomic Energy, 2001, Vol. 91, No.5, pp.378-385.
  5. A.A. Mayorshin, V.D. Grachev, A.I. Shaikhiev, M.V. Udaltsova. Calculation of the Temperature Field of the Vibropacked Oxide Fuel with Regard to the Redistribution of Porosity, Plutonium and Oxygen. Atomic Energy, 1991, Vol.70, No. 2, pp.134-135.
  6. A.A Mayorshin, V.A. Tzykanov et al. The Features of Radiation Behavior of Fuel Elements with Vibropac MOX Fuel // Proc.Int. Conference. Alushta, May 22–25, 1990. Vol.4. P. 90–97.
  7. A.A. Mayorshin, A.A. Petukhov, O.V. Skiba et al. Development of Fuel Rods with Vibropacked Uranium-Plutonium Oxide Fuel for Fast Reactors. Proceedings “Closed Fuel Cycle: Pyroelectrochemistry, Vibropacking Technology, Fuel Rods”, Dimitrograd, SSC RIAR, 1994, Vol. 1, pp. 28-35.
  8. V.A. Tsykanov, Yu.M. Golovchenko, A.A. Mayorshin et al. Migration of Cesium in Vibropacked Oxide Fuel Rods with Getter Additions. Atomic Energy, 1985, Vol.1, pp. 12-13.
  9. V.A. Tsykanov, O.V. Skiba, A.A. Mayorshin et al. About the Effect of Getter on Performance of Fast Reactor Fuel Rods with Vibropacked Oxide Fuel. Problems of Atomic Energy and Technology, Series”Atomic Material Science”, 1986, Vol.2 (22), pp.11-14.
  10. V.A. Tsykanov, A.A. Mayorshin, A.A. Petukhov et al. Analysis of Performance of BOR-60 Fuel rods with Vibropacked Uranium-Plutonium Oxide Fuel. Atomic Energy, 1989, Vol.66, No. 5, pp. 299-302.
  11. Mayorshin A.A., Skiba O.V., et al. Development of UPuO2 Vibropac Fuel Elements Capable of Operation up to Super-High Burnups // Int. Conference Global-95. Versailes, France, September 11–14, 1995. Vol. 2. P.1417.
  12. Mayorshin A.A., Tsykanov V.A., Skiba O.V., et al. Experience in development and irradiation of vibropac oxide fuel in the BOR-60 reactor // Proceedings of International conference on “Top Fuel 2003 – Nuclear fuel for today and tomorrow. Experiences and outlook”, March,16-19, 2003. Germany: ENS Topfuel, 2003.
  13. Mayorshin A.A., Ivanov V.B., Grachev A.F., et al. Validity of using UPuO2 vibropack experimental fuel pins in reactors on fast and thermal neutrons. First Experiments on Conversion of Weapon – Grade Plutonium into Nuclear Fuel // Proceedings of International symposium on MOX-fuel cycle technologies for medium and long term deployment: experience, advances, trends. Vienna, Austria, 17–21 May 1999.
  14. Mayorshin A.A., Kisly V.A., et al. Structural Features of Fast Reactor Vibropac Fuel Elements. An Operation Experience of Experimental Facilities on Their Production // Trans. Amer. Nucl. Soc., 1993. Vol.67. P.274.
  15. A.A. Mayorshin. Vibropacked Nuclear Fuel: Operating Experience and Prospects of its Application. Proceedings of the Seminar of the Interregional Material Engineers Society “New Atomic Technology Materials”, M.:MEPHI, 2003, pp. 25-39.
  16. Grachev A.F., Mayorshin A.A. MOX-fuel production by vibropacking technology // 7-th International Political Conference on Nuclear Materials. USA, Washington, Sept. 5–8, 2000.
  17. V.A. Tsykanov, O.V. Skiba, A.A. Mayorshin et al. Utilization and Recycle of Plutonium in BOR-60, Proceedings of the XII Annular Conference Of Russian Nuclear Society “Research Reactors: Science and High Technologies”, Dimitrovgrad, SSC RIAR, 2001, Vol.3, Part 2, pp. 3-13.
  18. Mayorshin A.A., Golovanov V.N., et al. Experience and outlook for development of vibropac oxide fuel pins for LWR // Top-Fuel 2003. Wurzburg, Germany, March 16–19, 2003. ENS Topfuel, 2003.


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