Joining and Hermetic Sealing of SiC End Plugs to SiC Triplex Nuclear Fuel Cladding

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

FM Technologies, Inc.
4431-H Brookfield Corporate Dr Array
Chantilly, VA 20151
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Silicon carbide triplex nuclear fuel cladding is an excellent ceramic structural material for use in high temperature thermal and fast-spectrum nuclear systems, including both current generation light water reactors and Generation 4 advanced reactors. Good mechanical and corrosion performance has been demonstrated in irradiation tests. However, at present there is no a suitable means to seal the ends of the silicon carbide triplex nuclear fuel cladding tubes for use in commercial nuclear plants. This project will develop technology for achieving a high temperature, high strength, hermetic, and corrosion resistant SiC end plug that joins to SiC triplex nuclear fuel cladding tubes. In Phase I, modeling and experiments will be conducted to demonstrate and develop the end plug joining and hermetic sealing technology. The joining materials and process will be suitable for installation and operation with nuclear fuel cladding in commercial nuclear power reactors. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The end plug joining technology along with the advanced SiC triplex cladding promises to provide the Nation with the benefits of increased safety and reliability, decreased cost, high fuel burn-up, and lower uranium usage for its commercial nuclear power reactors.