The fuel pellet-cladding interaction (PCI) of liquid-metal fast breeder reactor (LMFBR) fuel elements or fuel rods at unsteady state is analyzed and discussed based on experimental results. In the analyses, the heat generation, fuel restructuring, temperature distribution, gap conductance, irradiation swelling, irradiation creep, fuel burnup, fission gas release, fuel pellet cracking, crack healing, cladding cracking, yield failure and fracture failure of the fuel elements are taken into consideration. To improve the sintered (U,Pu)O2 fuel performance and reactor core safety at high temperature and fuel burnup, it is desirable to (a) increase and maintain the ductility of cladding material, (b) provide sufficient gap thickness and plenum space for accommodating fission gas release, (c) keep ramps-power increase rate slow and gentle, and (d) reduce the intensity and frequency of transient PCI in order to avoid intense stress fatigue cracking (SFC) and stress corrosion cracking (SCC) due to fission product compounds CsI, CdI2, Cs2Te, etc. at the inner cladding surface of the fuel elements during PCI.

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