3D ceramic printing of nuclear fuel - PSI-TM-46-16-04

In this document a novel nuclear fuel production method is suggested. It combines previously developed approaches and improvements of the internal gelation process, which was used over decades to produce sphere-pac fuel for minor actinide transmutation. And modern 3D printing of ceramics. The improvements to the internal gelation, which were developed in two CCEM.CH projects in the recent years comprise the two following aspects • Change of the heating media from silicon oil to microwave fields • Application of in-situ preparation of the feed solution, with the sparing of any need in cooling The internal gelation together with these improvements can be used to implement a new 3D printing technique for ceramics, and especially nuclear fuels, with the following advantages: • Almost powder-less process up to the formation of the fuel body in complex shapes • Any local composition change in metal or enrichment can be achieved • Pore-formers can be introduced locally, allowing the formation of buffer regions/layers

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