Synthesis of the U.S. specified ceramics using MOX fuel production expertise

Astafiev, V. A.; Glushenkov, A. E.; Sideinikov, M.; Borisov, G. B.; Mansourov, O. A.; Jardine, L. J.
July 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 532 Issue 1, p193
Academic Journal
At present, under the auspices of the USA/Russia agreements, joint work is under way to dispose of excess plutonium being withdrawn from nuclear defense programs. A major approach is to produce mixed plutonium-uranium fuel (MOX fuel) for its further burnup in different nuclear reactors. Plutonium-containing materials, which upon their composition or from an economic standpoint cannot be used for MOX fuel production, are to be immobilized into solid ceramic and glass-type matrices with their safe storage and eventual geologic disposal. For an immobilization form in the U.S., it is proposed to use ceramics based on pyrochlore developed at LLNL that is capable of incorporating up to 10 wt.% PuO[sub 2] and 23 wt.% UO[sub 2]. At VNIINM, work was done to assess the possibility of using equipment and expertise of MOX-fuel production to fabricate the ceramics. A few of the ceramic samples were synthesized, and basic physicochemical properties, including the homogeneity of the plutonium and uranium distributions in the matrix, density, and pellet porosity, were also measured. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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