Nuclear fuels and materials development by William L R Rice; U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Division

By William L R Rice; U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Division of Reactor Development

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T h e r m a l Conductivity of U 0 2 A s p a r t of a Joint U. S. - E u r a t o m P r o g r a m , the t h e r m a l conduc tivity of UOz w a s d e t e r m i n e d f o r t e m p e r a t u r e s up to 240OoC using a high t h e r m a l g r a d i e n t , r a d i a l heat flow technique. T e s t s w e r e conducted o n e l e m e n t s consisting of a c o l u m n of U 0 2 fuel p e l l e t s 1 . 1 7 c m d i a m e t e r , c l a d in s t a i n l e s s s t e e l a n d containing a t u n g s t e n - r h e n i u m h e a t e r rod located on the a x i s of t h e p e l l e t stack.

Electrodes were prepared from a carefully blended mixture of tungsten and rhenium powders in stoichiometric 75 W-25 Re proportions. Compacts were formed by pressing isostatically at 15 tsi and were sintered subsequently at 2,200' C by electron-beam heating. Sintered bars were then joined end-to-end by TIG welding to obtain the desired length of electrode. Melting and casting parameters were determined and 8 cold-mold ingots and 3 hollow cylindrical castings were prepared for fabrication into tubing.

O n s e t of small equiaxed g r a i n g r o w t h (with g r a i n d i a m e t e r s g r e a t e r t h a n 1 5 m i c r o n s ) w a s o b s e r v e d at t e m p e r a t u r e s between 1400 to 17OOoC.

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