Behavior assessments for UO2-BEO enhanced conductivity fuel in a PWR Conference Paper uri icon


  • Beryllium oxide (BeO) is a potential engineered additive to enhance the thermal conductivity of UO2. Processing refinements are continuing in order to fabricate reproducible pellets for thermal property measurements and to facilitate the future scale-up to production methods. A set of UO 2-10 vol% BeO pellets were fabricated by a modified processing scheme and were measured to have densities ranging between 90 and 92%TD. These pellets were characterized by electron microscopy and thermal diffusivity measurements. From these characterizations, apparent thermal conductivity enhancements of 60 to 75% were observed over UO2. This enhancement is 2 to 3 times higher than previously observed. In addition, a sequence of computational analyses was completed where pellet heat conduction may have significant impact. Simulations were performed using 2D infinite lattice and 3D equilibrium core neutronic methods. The estimated burnup enhancements may indicate a strategy where BeO additions can provide significant value.

published proceedings

  • LWR Fuel Performance Meeting, Top Fuel 2013

author list (cited authors)

  • McDeavitt, S. M., Garcia, C., Ragusa, J. C., Smith, J., & Malone, J.

complete list of authors

  • McDeavitt, SM||Garcia, C||Ragusa, JC||Smith, J||Malone, J

publication date

  • January 2013