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Home Uzbekistan Technologies Studies of the Effect of Neutron Irradiation on Physical and Mechanical Properties

Studies of the Effect of Neutron Irradiation on Physical and Mechanical Properties of Aluminium Claddings of the Irt-3m and Irt-4m Type Fuel Assemblies With 90, 36 and 20% Enrichment in Uranium-235 for Estimation of Their Durability


The purpose of the STCU project U87 is to make non-proliferation contribution and conversion of the reactors to low-enrichment fuel assemblies. Main objective was to estimate the durability of fuel assemblies of WWR-SM reactor what was done by studying neutron irradiation effect on the physical and mechanical properties of aluminium cladding of LEU fuel assemblies type of IRT-3M and IRT-4M under the reactor operating and storage conditions, i.e. in wet storage pools after uranium’s burn-up.

Installation for samples irradiation was created at the reactor WWR-SM, containing the channel and container for irradiation. (Fig 1).

Installation of SFA’s tightness control was created (Fig 2), in the heart of which are the fast and simple method of the analysis of liquid and gaseous tests of the heat-carrier and gaseous emissions with application of modern radiometric installations of high resolution (1,8 Kew) and a package of applied programs for a personal computer (GENIE-2000) lays.

Innovative Aspect and Main Advantages

The results of the project have provided information on using aluminium alloys as a matrix and as a cladding for nuclear reactor fuel assemblies. This has also provided recommendation on the optimal working parameters of the research reactor WWR-SM, increasing of U-235 burn up for more than 60% (guaranteed burn up is 40%) and also identify maximal storage term of spent fuel assemblies (SFA) in the wet storage pool for more than 40 years.

The new explanation of the microhardness increase mechanism and heat conductivity modification, electro conductivity in neutron irradiation were made.

The active core model of the reactor was created for calculation of parameters of the active core using the MCNP-4C program.

Optimal power raising method was developed at the reactor WWR-SM up to a nominal level. Recommendations on FA’s optimal operation were developed. The opportunity of transition of the reactor on use of low enriched uranium - 235 was proved.

Areas of Application

Technology can be used in the research reactors, and also at the enterprises of the nuclear industry.

Channel and containers for sample irradiation.
Fig. 1 Channel and containers for sample irradiation.

Device for SFA’s hermitic control.
Fig. 2 Device for SFA’s hermitic control.

Stage of Development

Experimental irradiation installation for FA’s tightness control is created. The contract design and the engineering specifications are developed. Uzbekistan patent is in process.

Contact Details

Institute of Nuclear Physics
Ulugbek, 100214 Tashkent, Uzbekistan
Contact person: Sapar Baytelesov
Tel: (+998 71) 369 3508
Fax: (+998 71) 150 3088
e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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