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Title: Application of Self-Propagating High Temperature Synthesis to the Fabrication of Actinide Bearing Nitride and Other Ceramic Nuclear Fuels

Abstract

The project uses an exothermic combustion synthesis reaction, termed self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS), to produce high quality, reproducible nitride fuels and other ceramic type nuclear fuels (cercers and cermets, etc.) in conjunction with the fabrication of transmutation fuels. The major research objective of the project is determining the fundamental SHS processing parameters by first using manganese as a surrogate for americium to produce dense Zr-Mn-N ceramic compounds. These fundamental principles will then be transferred to the production of dense Zr-Am-N ceramic materials. A further research objective in the research program is generating fundamental SHS processing data to the synthesis of (i) Pu-Am-Zr-N and (ii) U-Pu-Am-N ceramic fuels. In this case, Ce will be used as the surrogate for Pu, Mn as the surrogate for Am, and depleted uranium as the surrogate for U. Once sufficient fundamental data has been determined for these surrogate systems, the information will be transferred to Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for synthesis of Zr-Am-N, Pu-Am-Zr-N and U-Pu-Am-N ceramic fuels. The high vapor pressures of americium (Am) and americium nitride (AmN) are cause for concern in producing nitride ceramic nuclear fuel that contains Am. Along with the problem of Am retention during the sintering phases of currentmore » processing methods, are additional concerns of producing a consistent product of desirable homogeneity, density and porosity. Similar difficulties have been experienced during the laboratory scale process development stage of producing metal alloys containing Am wherein compact powder sintering methods had to be abandoned. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a low-temperature or low–heat fuel fabrication process for the synthesis of Am-containing ceramic fuels. Self-propagating high temperature synthesis (SHS), also called combustion synthesis, offers such an alternative process for the synthesis of Am nitride fuels. Although SHS takes thermodynamic advantage of the high combustion temperatures of these exothermic SHS reactions to synthesize the required compounds, the very fast heating, reaction and cooling rates can kinetically generate extremely fast reaction rates and facilitate the retention of volatile species within the rapidly propagating SHS reaction front. The initial objective of the research program is to use Mn as the surrogate for Am to synthesize a reproducible, dense, high quality Zr-Mn-N ceramic compound. Having determined the fundamental SHS reaction parameters and optimized SHS processing steps using Mn as the surrogate for Am, the technology will be transferred to Idaho National Laboratory to successfully synthesize a high quality Zr-Am-N ceramic fuel.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
951763
Report Number(s):
DOE/FC/14648-1
TRN: US1001493
DOE Contract Number:  
FC07-05ID14648
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; ACTINIDES; ALLOYS; AMERICIUM; AMERICIUM NITRIDES; BEARINGS; CERAMICS; CERMETS; COMBUSTION; DEPLETED URANIUM; FABRICATION; HEATING; MANGANESE; NITRIDES; NUCLEAR FUELS; POROSITY; REACTION KINETICS; RESEARCH PROGRAMS; RETENTION; SINTERING; SYNTHESIS; THERMODYNAMICS; TRANSMUTATION; VAPOR PRESSURE; SHS, Combustion Synthesis, AICS, nitride nuclear fuels, transmutation fuels

Citation Formats

Moore, John J., Reigel, Marissa M., and Donohoue, Collin D. Application of Self-Propagating High Temperature Synthesis to the Fabrication of Actinide Bearing Nitride and Other Ceramic Nuclear Fuels. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.2172/951763.
Moore, John J., Reigel, Marissa M., & Donohoue, Collin D. Application of Self-Propagating High Temperature Synthesis to the Fabrication of Actinide Bearing Nitride and Other Ceramic Nuclear Fuels. United States. doi:10.2172/951763.
Moore, John J., Reigel, Marissa M., and Donohoue, Collin D. Thu . "Application of Self-Propagating High Temperature Synthesis to the Fabrication of Actinide Bearing Nitride and Other Ceramic Nuclear Fuels". United States. doi:10.2172/951763. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/951763.
@article{osti_951763,
title = {Application of Self-Propagating High Temperature Synthesis to the Fabrication of Actinide Bearing Nitride and Other Ceramic Nuclear Fuels},
author = {Moore, John J. and Reigel, Marissa M. and Donohoue, Collin D.},
abstractNote = {The project uses an exothermic combustion synthesis reaction, termed self-propagating high-temperature synthesis (SHS), to produce high quality, reproducible nitride fuels and other ceramic type nuclear fuels (cercers and cermets, etc.) in conjunction with the fabrication of transmutation fuels. The major research objective of the project is determining the fundamental SHS processing parameters by first using manganese as a surrogate for americium to produce dense Zr-Mn-N ceramic compounds. These fundamental principles will then be transferred to the production of dense Zr-Am-N ceramic materials. A further research objective in the research program is generating fundamental SHS processing data to the synthesis of (i) Pu-Am-Zr-N and (ii) U-Pu-Am-N ceramic fuels. In this case, Ce will be used as the surrogate for Pu, Mn as the surrogate for Am, and depleted uranium as the surrogate for U. Once sufficient fundamental data has been determined for these surrogate systems, the information will be transferred to Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for synthesis of Zr-Am-N, Pu-Am-Zr-N and U-Pu-Am-N ceramic fuels. The high vapor pressures of americium (Am) and americium nitride (AmN) are cause for concern in producing nitride ceramic nuclear fuel that contains Am. Along with the problem of Am retention during the sintering phases of current processing methods, are additional concerns of producing a consistent product of desirable homogeneity, density and porosity. Similar difficulties have been experienced during the laboratory scale process development stage of producing metal alloys containing Am wherein compact powder sintering methods had to be abandoned. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a low-temperature or low–heat fuel fabrication process for the synthesis of Am-containing ceramic fuels. Self-propagating high temperature synthesis (SHS), also called combustion synthesis, offers such an alternative process for the synthesis of Am nitride fuels. Although SHS takes thermodynamic advantage of the high combustion temperatures of these exothermic SHS reactions to synthesize the required compounds, the very fast heating, reaction and cooling rates can kinetically generate extremely fast reaction rates and facilitate the retention of volatile species within the rapidly propagating SHS reaction front. The initial objective of the research program is to use Mn as the surrogate for Am to synthesize a reproducible, dense, high quality Zr-Mn-N ceramic compound. Having determined the fundamental SHS reaction parameters and optimized SHS processing steps using Mn as the surrogate for Am, the technology will be transferred to Idaho National Laboratory to successfully synthesize a high quality Zr-Am-N ceramic fuel.},
doi = {10.2172/951763},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Apr 30 00:00:00 EDT 2009},
month = {Thu Apr 30 00:00:00 EDT 2009}
}

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