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Irradiation Experiment on ZrC-Coated Fuel Particles for High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors

Kazuo Minato, Toru Ogawa, Kazuhiro Sawa, Akiyoshi Ishikawa, Takeshi Tomita, Shozo Iida, Hajime Sekino

Nuclear Technology

Volume 130 / Number 3 / June 2000 / Pages 272-281


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The ZrC coating layer is a candidate to replace the SiC coating layer of the Triso-coated fuel particle. To compare the irradiation performance of the ZrC Triso-coated fuel particles with that of the normal Triso-coated fuel particles at high temperatures, a capsule irradiation experiment was performed, where both types of the coated fuel particles were irradiated under identical conditions. The burnup was 4.5% FIMA and the irradiation temperature was 1400 to 1650°C. The postirradiation measurement of the through-coating failure fractions of both types of coated fuel particles revealed better irradiation performance of the ZrC Triso-coated fuel particles. The optical microscopy and electron probe microanalysis on the polished cross section of the ZrC Triso-coated fuel particles revealed no interaction of palladium with the ZrC coating layer nor accumulation of palladium at the inner surface of the ZrC coating layer, whereas severe corrosion of the SiC coating layer was observed in the normal Triso-coated fuel particles. Although no corrosion of the ZrC coating layer was observed, additional evaluations need to be made of this layer's ability to satisfactorily retain the fission product palladium.

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