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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2016, Article ID 9549805, 9 pages
Research Article

Development of End Plug Welding Technique for SFR Fuel Rod Fabrication

Next Generation Fuel Division, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, 111 Daedeok-daero 989 Beon-gil, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-353, Republic of Korea

Received 23 May 2016; Accepted 28 August 2016

Academic Editor: Waclaw Gudowski

Copyright © 2016 Jung Won Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In Korea, R&D on a sodium-cooled fast reactor (SFR) was begun in 1997, as one of the national long-term nuclear R&D programs. As one fuel option for a prototype SFR, a metallic fuel, U-Zr alloy fuel, was selected and is currently being developed. For the fabrication of SFR metallic fuel rods, the end plug welding is a crucial process. The sealing of the end plug to the cladding tube should be hermetically perfect to prevent a leakage of fission gases and to maintain a good reactor performance. In this study, the welding technique, welding equipment, welding conditions, and parameters were developed for the end plug welding of SFR metallic fuel rods. A gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) technique was adopted and the welding joint design was developed. In addition, the optimal welding conditions and parameters were established. Based on the establishment of the welding conditions, the GTAW technique was qualified for the end plug welding of SFR metallic fuel rods.