Title: Granulation and Infiltration Process for Minor Actinide Fuels, Targets and Conditioning Matrices
Citation: JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS vol. 362 no. 2-3 p. 350-355
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC37756
ISSN: 0022-3115
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC37756
DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2007.01.156
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The impact of Pu and Am, two elements that potentially pose a long term hazard for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel, can be abated by their reintroduction into the fuel cycle for transmutation. Such transmutation targets can be fabricated by a sol gel method for the production of porous inactive beads, which are then infiltrated by Am solutions. Following calcination, compaction into pellets and sintering, the product is obtained. At its heart, the sol gel process relies on an ammonia precipitation, so that it is not universally applicable. Therefore, an alternative is sought not just to overcome this chemical limitation, but also to simplify the process and reduce waste streams. The new concept utilises powder metallurgy routes (compaction, crushing and sieving) to produce porous, almost, dust free granules, which are infiltrated with the actinide nitrate. The method has been developed using yttria stabilised zirconia and alumina, and has been demonstrated for the production of Al2O3–AmO2 targets for neutron capture investigations. The results are very promising and meet light water reactor fuel specifications. In addition, the process is ideally suited for the production of ceramic matrices for conditioning actinides for geological disposal.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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