Compatibility studies for cermet (ceramic and metal) fuels have been completed for a temperature range of 1073-1423 K. A reaction between yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ), as a simulated fuel, and Zr, as a candidate for a metallic matrix, has been observed at temperatures ≥1273 K, which means the formation of a metallic reaction layer at the interface between YSZ and Zr and the occurrence of metallic phases inside the YSZ. Similar results were observed for the YSZ-Zry4 (cladding) system. On the other hand, the degree of reaction was relatively large for the YSZ-Si (metallic matrix) system, and Si diffused into the YSZ. However, the maximum fuel center-line temperature can be predicted to be less than ≈1273 K for cermet fuels. Therefore, compatibility between the ceramic fuel and the metallic matrix should be good under normal reactor operational conditions. Furthermore, since the temperature of the fuel-cladding gap is lower, the cermet fuel and the cladding material are compatible.
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