Nuclear Science


Coated Particle Fuel Development Lab

Computer controlled fluidized bed CVD particle coating system

The Coated Particle Fuel Development Laboratory is a modern, integrated facility for laboratory scale fabrication and characterization of uranium-bearing coated particle fuel (CPF). Within this facility, tri-isotropic (TRISO) coatings are deposited on various fuel kernels by chemical vapor deposition (CVD), particles are pressed into fuel compacts for irradiation, and state-of-the-art materials property characterization is performed, all under an NQA-1 compliant Quality Assurance program.

Current work includes fabrication and characterization of coated particle fuels to support the Next Generation Nuclear Plant, Advanced Small Modular Reactors, Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, and Advanced Light Water Reactor concepts. In addition, the lab is used to prepare capsules containing uranium-bearing test articles for irradiation in the High Flux Isotope Reactor.


  • High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor Fuel
  • Liquid Fluoride Salt-Cooled Reactor Fuel
  • Enhanced Accident Tolerant Fuel for Light Water Reactors
  • Deep Burn Fuel for Fuel Cycle Applications


TRISO Coating 50 mm Fluidized Bed Chemical Vapor Deposition System
Computer control of coating temperature and gas composition
Particle Classification Tabler, roller micrometer, and riffler
Characterization Computer-automated optical microscope imaging and dimensional analysis, liquid gradient density column, pyrocarbon layer anisotropy by ellipsometry microscope, Hg porosimeter, and coating microstructure (FIB SEM and TEM)
X-Ray Tomography Non-destructive characterization of fresh and irradiated CPFs with 1.4 µm resolution
Particle Overcoating and Compacting Overcoater, sieve stack, automated hydraulic press, furnaces to 2000°C, electrolytic compact deconsolidation and nitric acid leaching

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