THE RESPONSE OF NUCLEAR AUXILIARY POWER UNIT FUEL RODS TO SIMULATED RE-ENTRY HEATING.
Rept. for 1962,
ITEK CORP PALO ALTO CALIF VIDYA DIV
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Experimental and analytical studies were conducted to determine the mechanisms and extent of material removal andor accretion for hydrided nuclear auxiliary power unit fuel rod materials under conditions simulating exposure of fuel rods during re-entry from naturally decaying earth orbits. Evidence of material accretion through formation of oxides and nitrides was found even under conditions where measurable amounts of material were removed. Under initial heating conditions comparable with the highest heating level presently anticipated, no appreciable weight reductions were found even when the fuel rod surface was maintained at temperatures in excess of 3700 F for periods up to 60 seconds. Appreciable weight losses were found for initial heating conditions more severe than those presently anticipated. The distribution of sizes of recovered particles was determined in each case where significant material removal occurred. A mechanism of fuel rod material re moval based on the results of these tests is suggested. Author