Formation process of the pellet-cladding bonding layer was studied by EPMA, XRD, and SEM/TEM for the oxide layer on a cladding inner surface and the bonding layer in irradiated fuel rods. Specimens were prepared from fuels which had been irradiated to the pellet average burnups of 15, 27 and 42 GWd/t in BWRs. In the lower burnup specimens of 15 and 27GWd/t, no bonding layer was found, while the higher burnup specimens of 42 and previously reported 49 GWd/t had a typical bonding layer. A bonding layer which consisted of two regions was found in the latter fuels. One region of the inner surface of the cladding was made up mainly of ZrO2. The structure of this ZrO2 consisted of cubic phase, while no monoclinic crystals were found. The other region, near the pellet surface, had both a cubic solid solution of (U, Zr)O2 and amorphous phase. Even in the lower burnup specimens having no bonding layer, cubic ZrO2 phase was identified in the cladding inner oxide layer. The formation process of the bonding layer were discussed in connection with phase transformation by irradiation damage of fission products and conditions for contact of pellet and cladding.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering