Solutions of some transport problems in molecular and phonon transport
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Nuclear reactor fuel undergoes vast changes during its lifetime. The fuel generates heat energy while simultaneously suffering neutron bombardments and swelling/rupture due to fission product/gas migration, aggregation and buildup. Ingenious analyses, advances in materials processing, and design and testing have permitted the attainment of significant burn-ups (~ 33 GWd/MT). Problems associated with nuclear proliferation due to national/international political instabilities, dictate the need for new nuclear fuel analyses and designs that would lead to high (~65 GWd/MT) and ultra high (~100 GWd/MT) burn-ups. While such burn-ups have been achieved in some test fuels, the utilization of new fuels in commercial reactors have been fraught with several unanticipated practical difficulties.