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The thermal properties of UO(2) are important parameters in evaluating its behaviour as nuclear reactor fuel at high burnup. Changes in thermal conductivity occur in the fuel during irradiation because of gas bubble formation, fission product build-up and, potentially, O/U ratio increase. This paper describes work carried out to measure thermal properties using fabricated simulated high-burnup UO(2) fuel (SIMFUEL). The thermal conductivities of near-stoichiometric 1.5, 3 and 8 at% burnup SIMFUEL were obtained from measurements of thermal diffusivity and specific heat. The variation of thermal resistivity in SIMFUEL was approximately linear with the simulated burnup. Thermal conductivities of hyperstoichiometric UO(2) decreased with increasing deviation from stoichiometry. The effect of hyperstoichiometry on thermal conductivity was assessed from these data. Other physical properties of SIMFUEL (hot hardness, fracture toughness, melting points and emissivity) were also investigated.

Additional information

Authors: MATZKE H, JRC Karlsruhe (DE);HIERNAUT J P, JRC Karlsruhe (DE);LUCUTA P G, AECL Research, Chalk River Laboratories, Ontario (CA);VERRALL R A, AECL Research, Chalk River Laboratories, Ontario (CA)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 22nd International Thermal Conductivity Conference, Tempe, Arizona (US), November 7-10, 1993
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 38015 ORA
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