Thermophysical and mechanical analyses of UO2-36.4vol % BeO fuel pellets with zircaloy, SiC, and FeCrAl claddings

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Original languageEnglish
Article number65
Journal / PublicationMetals
Issue number1
Online published18 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018



The thermophysical performance and solid mechanics behavior of UO2-36.4vol % BeO fuel pellets cladded with Zircaloy, SiC, and FeCrAl, and Zircaloy cladding materials coated with SiC and FeCrAl, are investigated based on simulation results obtained by the CAMPUS code. In addition, the effect of coating thickness (0.5, 1 and 1.5 mm) on fuel performance and mechanical interaction is discussed. The modeling results show that Zircaloy claddings are more effective in decreasing fuel centerline temperature and fission gas release than other kinds of cladding material because of the smaller gap between cladding and fuel at the same burnup. SiC claddings and SiC-coated Zircaloy claddings possess smaller plenum pressure than other kinds of cladding. SiC claddings contribute more to fuel radial displacement but less to fuel axial displacement. FeCrAl claddings exhibit very different radial and axial displacements in different axial positions. FeCrAl-coated Zircaloy claddings have a lower fuel centerline temperature than Zircaloy claddings at burnup below 850 MWh/kg U, but a higher fuel centerline temperature at higher burnup. The gap between FeCrAl-coated Zircaloy claddings and fuel pellets closes earlier than that of Zircaloy claddings. SiC-coated claddings increase fuel radial and axial displacements, and cladding axial displacements of inner and outer cladding surfaces.

Research Area(s)

  • FeCrAl cladding, Mechanical analysis, SiC cladding, Surface-coated cladding, UO2-BeO, Zircaloy cladding

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