Studies on plutonium-zirconium co-precipitation and carbothermal reduction in the internal gelation process for nitride fuel preparation
Journal article, 2016

Sol-gel based techniques are one way to lower the handling of highly radioactive powders when producing transuranium-containing fuel. In this work inert matrix (Zr0.6,Pu0.4)N fuel has been produced by internal gelation followed by carbothermal reduction. No co-gelation was observed during internal gelation and a two phase material could be detected by scanning electron microscopy in the nitrided microspheres. Sintering has been performed in both Ar and N2. X-ray diffraction revealed that sintering in N2 produced a solid solution, while sintering in Ar did not. The final metal composition in the microspheres was determined by ICP-MS to be about 41% Pu and 59% Zr. Vegard's law was applied to estimate the nitride purity in the solid solution pellet to be Zr0.6Pu0.4N0.87C0.13 making the final material more of a carbonitride than a pure nitride.

Author

Marcus Hedberg

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Energy and Material, Nuclear Chemistry

Christian Ekberg

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Energy and Material, Nuclear Chemistry

Journal of Nuclear Materials

0022-3115 (ISSN)

Vol. 479 608-615

DOI

10.1016/j.jnucmat.2016.07.055

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Created

10/7/2017