Mechanisms by which fission products (especially silver [Ag]) migrate across the coating layers of tristructural isotropic (TRISO) coated fuel particles designed for next generation nuclear reactors have been the subject of a variety of research activities due to the complex nature of the migration mechanisms. This paper presents results obtained from the electron microscopic examination of selected irradiated TRISO coated particles from fuel compact 1-3-1 irradiated in the first Advanced Gas Reactor experiment (AGR-1) that was performed as part of the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) project. It is of specific interest to study particles of this compact as they were fabricated using a different carrier gas composition ratio for the SiC layer deposition compared with the baseline coated fuel particles reported on previously. Basic scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and SEM montage investigations of the particles indicate a correlation between the distribution of fission product precipitates and the proximity of the inner pyrolytic carbon (IPyC)-silicon carbide (SiC) interface to the fuel kernel. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) samples were sectioned by focused ion beam (FIB) technique from the IPyC layer, the SiC layer and the IPyC-SiC interlayer of the coated fuel particle. Detailed TEM and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) were performed to identify fission products and characterize their distribution across the IPyC and SiC layers in the areas examined. Results indicate the presence of palladium-silicon-uranium (Pd-Si-U), Pd-Si, Pd-U, Pd, U, U-Si precipitates in the SiC layer and the presence of Pd-Si-U, Pd-Si, U-Si, U precipitates in the IPyC layer. No Ag-containing precipitates are evident in the IPyC or SiC layers. With increased distance from the IPyC-SiC interface, there are less U-containing precipitates, however, such precipitates are present across nearly the entire SiC layer.

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