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Title: Irradiation behaviour of beryllium based dispersion fuels - a preliminary irradiation experiment.
Authors: Hanna, GL
Hickman, BS
Hilditch, RJ
Issue Date: Sep-1962
Publisher: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Abstract: The effects of fission fragment damage on vacuum hot pressed fuel specimens of (U Th) Be13 dispersed in a beryllium matrix were examined by irradiation in a predominantly thermal neutron flux. Damage equivalent to that caused by 4 x 10 19 to 11 x 10 19 fissions per cm3 (depending on specimen composition) was achieved at temperatures between 435º and 530ºC. All specimens increased in volume on irradiation. The increases ranged from 0.1 per cent, to 5 per cent., depending on the volume fraction of fuel phase and the number of fissions per cm3. Some of the volume change — possibly up to 0.7 per cent. — was due to thermal effects alone. Release of fission gases was as high as 2 per cent, in some cases and was generally higher than would be expected from recoil in specimens having no open porosity. The fractional release was greater in specimens which experienced a high volume increase. Microstructures showed no significant change on irradiation. All specimens were slightly porous before irradiation and it is considered that the swelling of specimens was due to the growth of existing pores and that the release of fission gases was facilitated by an increase in open porosity.
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