The Influence of Microstructures on the Thermal Conductivity of Polycrystalline UO2

[+] Author and Article Information
Enze Jin

State Power Investment Central Research Institute, Beijing, China

Chen Liu

Beijing Research Institute of Chemical Engineering and Metallurgy, Beijing, China

Heming He

State Power Investment Central Research Institute, Beijing, China

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037189 History: Received September 08, 2016; Revised June 17, 2017


Thermal conductivity is one of the most important properties for UO2. The influences of microstructure are especially important for UO2 due to the severe structural changes under irradiation conditions. In this study, we have investigated the thermal conductivity of UO2 with different microstructures using Finite Element Method. The temperature profile of fuel pellet with different microstructures during service is also investigated. The thermal conductivity increases with increasing grain size. The grain size distribution has obvious influence on the thermal conductivity especially when there are pores in the polycrystal. The influences of porosity and pore size are very sensitive to the position of the pores. The results obtained in this study are useful for prediction of property changes of UO2 fuel in pile and important to gain some design guidance to tune the properties through the control of the microstructure.

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