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|Title:||Optimisation of uranium-doped americium oxide synthesis for space application|
|Authors:||VIGIER JEAN-FRANCOIS; FREIS DANIEL; POEML PHILIPP; PRIEUR DAMIEN; LAJARGE PATRICK; GARDEUR SEBASTIEN; GUIOT ANTONY; BOUEXIERE DANIEL; KONINGS RUDY|
|Citation:||INORGANIC CHEMISTRY vol. 57 no. 8 p. 4317-4327|
|Publisher:||AMER CHEMICAL SOC|
|Type:||Articles in periodicals and books|
|Abstract:||Americium 241 is a potential alternative to plutonium 238 as energy source for missions into deep space or to the dark side of planetary bodies. In order to use 241Am isotope for radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) or heating units (RHU) production, americium materials need to be developed. This study focusses on the stabilisation of a cubic americium oxide phase using uranium as dopant. After optimisation of the material preparation, (Am0.80U0.12Np0.06Pu0.02)O1.8 has been successfully synthesized to prepare a 2.96 g pellet containing 2.13 g of 241Am for fabrication of a small scale RHU prototype. Compared to pure americium oxide, the use of uranium-doped americium oxide leads to a number of improvements from the material properties and the safety point of view, like a good behaviour under sintering conditions or under alpha self-irradiation. The mixed oxide is a good host for neptunium (i.e. the 241Am daughter element) and it has improved safety against radioactive material dispersion in case of accidental conditions.|
|JRC Directorate:||Nuclear Safety and Security|
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