Preparation of rock-like oxide fuels for the irradiation test in the Japan Research Reactor No. 3
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AbstractThree types of uranium-based rock-like oxide (ROX) fuel were prepared for an irradiation test in the Japan Research Reactor No. 3 (JRR-3). The first one was a particle dispersed type fuel where (U,Zr,Y)O2 particles of 250 μm in diameter were dispersed in a matrix of spinel or corundum. The second one was a homogeneous mixture type of (U,Zr,Y)O2 and spinel or corundum. The third one was a (U,Zr,Y)O2 single phase fuel. In all case, the sintering of the pellets was carried out at 2020 K for 4 h in a stream of 75%H2/25%N2 mixed gas. The characterization tests showed that the pellets fabricated had small void volume fraction (<9%). The homogeneous distribution of the particles/grains of (U,Zr,Y)O2 in the matrix was confirmed by the ceramography. The X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD) showed the formation of homogeneous (U,Zr,Y)O2 solid solutions and no appreciable interactions between the (U,Zr,Y)O2 phase and inert matrix materials (spinel or corundum).

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