Journal article

Fabrication and microstructure characterization of inert matrix fuel based on yttria stabilized zirconia

The deployment of a suitable, Pu-bearing inert matrix fuel (IMF) could offer an attractive option as a single-recycling LWR strategy aimed at reducing the currently growing plutonium stockpiles. A development programme focusing on yttria stabilized zirconia (YSZ)-based IMF is conducted at PSI. YSZ-based IMF has so far been irradiated in two test reactors. The fabrication routes as well as the characterization of the irradiated material by ceramography, electronprobe microanalysis, and X-ray diffraction are presented. IMF fabrication by attrition milling of the oxide constituents is possible, but high sintering temperatures are required to achieve homogeneity. X-ray diffraction is a suitable tool to monitor the homogeneity. Extra efforts are needed to increase the density.


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