This study looks for innovative methods to improve the overall performance of the U-20% Zr metallic fuel. The first solution is to swap out the helium gap for a ternary liquid metal bonded gap while the second involves minimizing the helium gap’s thickness to 0.04 mm in order to minimize its thermal resistance. The proposed solutions have been subjected to neutronic, thermal-hydraulic, and solid structure investigations, and their performance has been contrasted with that of a typical U-20% Zr metallic alloy with a 0.08 mm He-gap. According to neutronic analysis, the investigated fuel materials have almost identical neutronic performance. After using the LM bonded gap, both thermal-hydraulic and solid structure performance improved significantly. The performance of the U-20% Zr with 0.04 mm He-gap was moderate and unattractive to be used since it was deduced that its drawbacks outweighed its benefits.
Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.
Research funding: None declared.
Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.
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