Title: Fabrication of Minor Actinide Fuels using Advanced Liquid Processing Routes
Authors: SOMERS Joseph
Citation: Technical meeting on "Manufacturing methods for Advanced Nuclear Fuel" p. 1-8
Publisher: IAEA
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC58519
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC58519
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The implementation of partitioning and transmutation (P&T) is an innovative route to abate the long term radiotoxicity of minor actinides (MA), prevalent in spent nuclear fuel. Fabrication of such fuels containing minor actinides will be challenging and needs innovation to combat typical deficits of powder metallurgy. The most major problem will be dust, a typical characteristic of precipitated powders, which if not prevented will accumulate on the surfaces of the production equipment, and limit the possibility of operator intervention for equipment, replacement, repair or adjustment. New fuel processing routes are necessary. The first fabrication step will begin at the conversion from liquid step, which must be made in a controlled manner, so that the powder produced is dust free, i.e. the particle size should be greater than 20 µm. Sol gel routes based on internal or external gelation provide a solution, and tests in the ITU's specially shielded minor actinide laboratory (MA LAB) have been successful for the production of uranium oxide and inert matrix based americium bearing fuels and targets. Infiltration of the minor actinide into a porous support has the added advantage of waste minimisation. A number of the fuels have been irradiated in Phénix and HFR reactors.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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