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The development of any new fuel element design seems invariably to pose some new nondestructive testing problem peculiar to the design of the element. In the case of a certain type of uranium oxide dispersion element a problem was encountered in the determination of fuel distribution and total fuel content. This fuel element core consists of pelletized uranium oxide dispersed in a matrix of stainless steel, the whole core being fabricated by a powder metallurgy technique. The batch mixing process was known to be capable of very close control, but it was found that metallurgical processing sometimes introduced variables in distribution and content beyond the allowable nuclear design limits. It was therefore felt that tests on the individual elements would afford best assurance of compliance with the design requirements.
Plant, W. R.
Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, General Electric Co., Schenectady, N. Y.