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UO(2) fuel irradiated over 1 to 4 reactor cycles and at average linear power ranging from 35.8 to 20.2 kW/m has been investigated in the alpha laboratory at the Institute for Transuranium Elements. The aim of this study was to determine the influence of increasing burn-up on fission gas release and the relationship between gas release and the fuel microstructure. Emphasis was placed on the investigation of fuel restructuring, and examination techniques such as quantitative optical microscopy, electron scanning microscopy and electron probe microanalysis were used. Fission gas release measurements showed a trend toward increasing release as burn-up increased. Further, the investigation of the fuel microstructure established that fission gas release is strongly temperature sensitive, although there is very likely a minor athermal contribution from the outer rim of the fuel pellet. Fuel restructuring in the central part of the pellet was the major cause of gas release.

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Authors: COQUERELLE M, JRC Karlsruhe (DE);WALKER C T, JRC Karlsruhe (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: IAEA Technical Committee Meeting on Fuel Performance at High Burn-up for Water Reactors, Nyköping (SE), June 5-8, 1990
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 35768 ORA
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