Effects of Beryllium and Compaction Pressure on the Thermal Diffusivity of Uranium Dioxide Fuel Pellets

  • D. M. CamaranoEmail author
  • F. A. Mansur
  • A. M. M. Santos
  • W. B. Ferraz
  • R. A. N. Ferreira
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. TEMPMEKO 2016: Selected Papers of the 13th International Symposium on Temperature, Humidity, Moisture and Thermal Measurements in Industry and Science


In nuclear reactors, the performance of uranium dioxide \((\hbox {UO}_{2})\) fuel is strongly dependent on the thermal conductivity, which directly affects the fuel pellet temperature, the fission gas release and the fuel rod mechanical behavior during reactor operation. The use of additives to improve \(\hbox {UO}_{2}\) fuel performance has been investigated, and beryllium oxide (BeO) appears as a suitable additive because of its high thermal conductivity and excellent chemical compatibility with \(\hbox {UO}_{2}\). In this paper, \(\hbox {UO}_{2}\)–BeO pellets were manufactured by mechanical mixing, pressing and sintering processes varying the BeO contents and compaction pressures. Pellets with BeO contents of 2 wt%, 3 wt%, 5 wt% and 7 wt% BeO were pressed at 400 MPa, 500 MPa and 600 MPa. The laser flash method was applied to determine the thermal diffusivity, and the results showed that the thermal diffusivity tends to increase with BeO content. Comparing thermal diffusivity results of \(\hbox {UO}_{2}\) with \(\hbox {UO}_{2}\)–BeO pellets, it was observed that there was an increase in thermal diffusivity of at least 18 % for the \(\hbox {UO}_{2}\)-2 wt% BeO pellet pressed at 400 MPa. The maximum relative expanded uncertainty (coverage factor k = 2) of the thermal diffusivity measurements was estimated to be 9 %.


Beryllium oxide Laser flash method Thermal diffusivity Uranium dioxide 



The authors thank the financial support of CNPq—Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, SIBRATEC Rede GTD—Rede de Serviços Tecnológicos em Geração, Transmissão e Distribuição de Energia Elétrica and INCTRNi—Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia de Reatores Nucleares Inovadores.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. M. Camarano
    • 1
    Email author
  • F. A. Mansur
    • 1
  • A. M. M. Santos
    • 1
  • W. B. Ferraz
    • 1
  • R. A. N. Ferreira
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear, CDTNBelo HorizonteBrazil

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