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Report No.
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Fabrication of U-Pu-Zr metallic fuel elements for irradiation test at Joyo

Nakamura, Kinya*; Ogata, Takanari*; Kikuchi, Hironobu ; Iwai, Takashi; Nakajima, Kunihisa ; Kato, Tetsuya*; Arai, Yasuo; Koyama, Tadafumi*; Itagaki, Wataru ; Soga, Tomonori ; Aoyama, Takafumi 

CRIEPI and JAEA have fabricated sodium-bonded metallic fuel elements for the first time in Japan as a collaborative research, for use in the irradiation test at the experimental fast test reactor Joyo. The irradiation test aims to assess the irradiation behavior of the fuel and the internal wastage of the stainless-steel cladding by rare-earth fission products at a maximum cladding temperature above 873 K. U-20 wt% Pu-10 wt% Zr alloy fuel slugs of 200 mm length were fabricated in an injection-casting furnace using U metal, U-Pu alloy and Zr metal. Two types of fuel slug were fabricated, i.e., 5.05 mm and 4.95 mm in diameter, and loaded into a ferritic-martensitic stainless-steel cladding tubes, respectively. After top-end-plug welding to the cladding tube, each fuel element was subjected to sodium bonding to fill the annular gap between the fuel slug and the cladding with melted sodium. The fabrication results indicated that the characteristics of the fuel elements were within the required specifications.

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