Alternative Passive Decay-Heat Systems for AHTR [pres.

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1. INTRODUCTION The fabrication of LWR fuel elements includes a stage of pellet forming which is performed in two successive steps: die-pressing and sintering. Due to slight geometrical defects, a final grinding operation is currently performed on rough sintered pellet to accurately control the fuel diameter. Indeed, fuel element design implies small tolerance for the pellet diameter to obtain a calibrated gap between pellet and cladding into the fuel rod. For LWR designs, the pellet diameter must be within the range +/- 12 µm around nominal values (8–10 mm).

Afterwards, the reactor was drained and the mother water was separated by filtration using a vacuum pump and a Büchner funnel provided with the adequate filter paper. The retained precipitate is then washed with a diluted ammonium hydroxide solution, and later, dried 24 hrs in an oven at 120ºC in air. The analysis of the mother water showed an uranium content lower than 3 ppm, which means, a quantitative precipitation. 7. Decomposition-reduction. Thermal treatment. In a horizontal electric furnace, the ADU precipitate was heated according to a controlled heating program.

4, showed the existence of a mixed phase in the precipitate and the formation of a solid solution in the sintered pellets. ). 5. CONCLUSIONS The “reverse strike” co precipitation method was applied to the UO2, (U,Pu)O2 and (U,Gd)O2 obtention and the following advantages were found: • The precipitation under the selected conditions in this work was quantitative thus, the liquid wastes treatment results to be easy due to the low amount of remaining actinides in solution. It is possible to obtain pellets with the adequate density by the adjustement of the working parameters appropriately according to the products to be obtained (mixed oxides of U and Pu or U and Gd).

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