The most recent design considered to convert most U.S. High Performance Research Reactors (USHPRR) from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low-enriched uranium (LEU) consists of high density uranium–10 wt% molybdenum fuel core sandwiched between Zirconium diffusion barriers and encapsulated in aluminum AA6061 cladding.

In this work, finite element analysis (FEA) is used to perform parametric studies to evaluate the effect of property-related parameters on the simulated thermo-mechanical behavior of a generic U-10Mo monolithic fuel plate. A baseline FE model was developed using the most recommended physical, thermal, and mechanical properties for the U-10Mo fuel core, the Zr diffusion barrier and the AA6061 cladding materials. The thermo-mechanical behavior of the monolithic fuel plate was simulated considering a ±50% change in the materials’ properties implemented in the FE baseline model. Global peak values for stress and temperature and the stress and displacements profiles at a selected transverse section of the plate were analyzed in all cases and compared to the baseline case. The effect of the U-10Mo fuel core behavioral models, including fuel swelling and irradiation-induced creep, and degradation models of the fuel core thermal conductivity and elastic modulus on the simulated fuel plate thermo-mechanical performance were also investigated.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.