MOX Fuel Fabrication
Development of Pulsed and Vibration Nuclear Power Reactor MOX Fuel Fabrication Equipment
Tech Area / Field
- FIR-FUE/Reactor Fuels and Fuel Engineering/Fission Reactors
8 Project completed
Senior Project Manager
Tocheny L V
All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Non-Organic Materials named after A. Bochvar, Russia, Moscow
- European Commission / Joint Research Center / Institute for Transuranium Elements, Germany, Karlsruhe\nBritish Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) / Waste Disposal Research Group Sellafield R&D, UK, Cumbria, Seascale\nSiemens AG, Germany, Hanau
Project summaryA fundamentally new MOX fuel fabrication equipment is proposed using the ammoniac precipitation technology with surfactants present as a basis.
The proposed equipment realizes a low-dusty continuous process based on the hydroxide coprecipitation and aqueous, granulation (flocculation followed by making granules round and strong).
The process involves:
- making an inital solution of a specified U:Pu ratio;
- oxidation to Pu (VI) by heat treatment;
- hydroxide coprecipitation with ammonia solution, keeping the suspension stirring;
- granulation (flocculation) by proportioning surfactants;
- making granules round and strong;
- drying, calcination, reduction, sieving, palletizing. The advantages include:
1. Good physical-mechanical properties of MOX fuel adequate to pelletize essentially the whole of the granulate.
2. The lowest dusting level (1-2 % of less than 80 mm sizes).
3. A very homogeneous structure of the resulting (U, Pu) O2.
4. Basic waste (ammoniac mother liquor) of relatively simple makes up very poor in U and Pu.
5. Available cheap reactants.
The ammoniac precipitation flow sheet starts from a general-purpose pulse-mixed apparatus suitable for operating a variety of processes in succession inital solution adjustment, ammoniac precipitation, granulation, pelletizing, and washing.
The apparatus displays certain production and performance advantages satisfying fission material production standards. It is multipurpose, highly reliable, remotely controlled. Its unique design enables a desired hydrodynamics to be obtained in the reaction zone. Its pulse mixer (PM) is positioned so that it can supply turbulence to reactants at a frequency depending on the oscillation frequency of the level of liquid in the PM pulsation chamber.
The experimental pulse-mixed MOX fuel apparatus (the so-called "Granat" facility) has demonstrated high performance.
The project is meant for developing, manufacturing and testing a continuous pilot MOX fuel plant.
The results to be obtained are of commercial and technical importance for fabricating NPR MOX fuels or for other fissile product reprocessing processes.
BNFL (Great Britain) is expected to be our collaborator.