ORNL Nuclear Particle Fuel – Less Than 1 Millimeter Across

A summary of activities around concept development, design, manufacturing, and early irradiation testing of a novel coated fuel particle, uranium nitride tristructural-isotropic fuel is provided. This fuel particle offers significantly higher uranium density over historic manifestations of coated fuel particles and may be more optimal for a range of advanced reactor applications. After reviewing the design process, steps involving production of this fuel form are discussed. Low burnup irradiation data on this fuel particle are now available, indicating that performance metrics have been met to date based on the original design expectations.

Journal of Nuclear Materials – Uranium nitride tristructural-isotropic fuel particle

8 thoughts on “ORNL Nuclear Particle Fuel – Less Than 1 Millimeter Across”

  1. Just a reminder: the smaller the radius, the higher the surface area to volume ratio. IOW, more coating, less fuel.
    On the other hand, also lower porosity between the particles.

  2. You just know that someone, late on Friday afternoon, last day of the financial year, is going to ship the wrong box out to a billiards supply company.

  3. The old TRISO pebbles were like that, uranium kernels in a larger containg graphite sphere around that size.

  4. I kind of thought that these enriched uranium particles were then imbedded into a standard sized billiards ball composite of several thousand beads, and a graphite or other pure, moderating, nonfriable interior-and-exterior-shell material. The idea being — at least by one telling — that there are plenty of standard-billiard-ball-making-machines, so it is a convenient enough size for a fast-track experimental reactor. 

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

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