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A fuel element assembly in which a uranium slug is bonded to an impact extruded aluminum can by means of aluminum-silicon eutectic and in which the can is capped with a thin aluminum disk brazed and welded to it, may contain (a) imperfections common to brazed and welded metal sections, and (b) inhomogeneities arising from oxidation of uranium and alloy formation between uranium, aluminum, and silicon. They may be present in the form of porosity, cracks, lack of fusion in the weld, nonbonding of the edge of the uranium slug, voids, and inclusions, and their presence may contribute to the failure of the fuel element under operation. The closure end of the element was considered critical because of the greater probability of those defects existing in this section. Nondestructive methods were needed to detect the presence of defects in the closure and to determine their nature, magnitude, and origin, if possible.
Sidhu, S. S.
Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, Ill.