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In specimens of uranium oxides irradiated at high heat ratings for a few minutes or several days, central melting can be distinguished from columnar or equiaxed grain growth which takes place below the melting point. Evidence of melting has been observed in six different types of fuel: (1) UO2.0 pellets formed by cold compacting and sintering; (2) UO2.12 pellets; (3) UO2.19 pellets; (4) UO2.0 — 4 molecular per cent Y2O3 pellets; (5) cold swaged UO2.0; and (6) loose compacted UO2.0. The results show that the integrated thermal conductivity of the fuel up to its melting point is higher for the stoichiometric pellets than for any of the other types tested.
Bain, A S
Fuel Development Branch, Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd., Chalk River, Ont.