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Title: Powder Metallurgy of Uranium Alloy Fuels for TRU-Burning Reactors Final Technical Report

Overview Fast reactors were evaluated to enable the transmutation of transuranic isotopes generated by nuclear energy systems. The motivation for this was that TRU isotopes have high radiotoxicity and relatively long half-lives, making them unattractive for disposal in a long-term geologic repository. Fast reactors provide an efficient means to utilize the energy content of the TRUs while destroying them. An enabling technology that requires research and development is the fabrication metallic fuel containing TRU isotopes using powder metallurgy methods. This project focused upon developing a powder metallurgical fabrication method to produce U-Zr-transuranic (TRU) alloys at relatively low processing temperatures (500ºC to 600ºC) using either hot extrusion or alpha-phase sintering for charecterization. Researchers quantified the fundamental aspects of both processing methods using surrogate metals to simulate the TRU elements. The process produced novel solutions to some of the issues relating to metallic fuels, such as fuel-cladding chemical interactions, fuel swelling, volatility losses during casting, and casting mold material losses. Workscope There were two primary tasks associated with this project: 1. Hot working fabrication using mechanical alloying and extrusion • Design, fabricate, and assemble extrusion equipment • Extrusion database on DU metal • Extrusion database on U-10Zr alloys • Extrusion database onmore » U-20xx-10Zr alloys • Evaluation and testing of tube sheath metals 2. Low-temperature sintering of U alloys • Design, fabricate, and assemble equipment • Sintering database on DU metal • Sintering database on U-10Zr alloys • Liquid assisted phase sintering on U-20xx-10Zr alloys Appendices Outline Appendix A contains a Fuel Cycle Research & Development (FCR&D) poster and contact presentation where TAMU made primary contributions. Appendix B contains MSNE theses and final defense presentations by David Garnetti and Grant Helmreich outlining the beginning of the materials processing setup. Also included within this section is a thesis proposal by Jeff Hausaman. Appendix C contains the public papers and presentations introduced at the 2010 American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting. Appendix A—MSNE theses of David Garnetti and Grant Helmreich and proposal by Jeff Hausaman A.1 December 2009 Thesis by David Garnetti entitled “Uranium Powder Production Via Hydride Formation and Alpha Phase Sintering of Uranium and Uranium-Zirconium Alloys for Advanced Nuclear Fuel Applications” A.2 September 2009 Presentation by David Garnetti (same title as document in Appendix B.1) A.3 December 2010 Thesis by Grant Helmreich entitled “Characterization of Alpha-Phase Sintering of Uranium and Uranium-Zirconium Alloys for Advanced Nuclear Fuel Applications” A.4 October 2010 Presentation by Grant Helmreich (same title as document in Appendix B.3) A.5 Thesis Proposal by Jeffrey Hausaman entitled “Hot Extrusion of Alpha Phase Uranium-Zirconium Alloys for TRU Burning Fast Reactors” Appendix B—External presentations introduced at the 2010 ANS Winter Meeting B.1 J.S. Hausaman, D.J. Garnetti, and S.M. McDeavitt, “Powder Metallurgy of Alpha Phase Uranium Alloys for TRU Burning Fast Reactors,” Proceedings of 2010 ANS Winter Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, November 7-10, 2010 B.2 PowerPoint Presentation Slides from C.1 B.3 G.W. Helmreich, W.J. Sames, D.J. Garnetti, and S.M. McDeavitt, “Uranium Powder Production Using a Hydride-Dehydride Process,” Proceedings of 2010 ANS Winter Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, November 7-10, 2010 B.4. PowerPoint Presentation Slides from C.3 B.5 Poster Presentation from C.3 Appendix C—Fuel cycle research and development undergraduate materials and poster presentation C.1 Poster entitled “Characterization of Alpha-Phase Sintering of Uranium and Uranium-Zirconium Alloys” presented at the Fuel Cycle Technologies Program Annual Meeting C.2 April 2011 Honors Undergraduate Thesis by William Sames, Research Fellow, entitled “Uranium Metal Powder Production, Particle Distribution Analysis, and Reaction Rate Studies of a Hydride-Dehydride Process"« less
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1012554
Report Number(s):
DOE/ID/14836-Final
06-0945; TRN: US1102449
DOE Contract Number:
FC07-07ID14836
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Texas Engineering Experiment Station, College Station, TX
Sponsoring Org:
DOE Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; ALLOYS; CASTING; CASTING MOLDS; EXTRUSION; FABRICATION; FAST REACTORS; FUEL CYCLE; HOT WORKING; HYDRIDES; METALLURGY; NUCLEAR ENERGY; NUCLEAR FUELS; POWDER METALLURGY; REACTION KINETICS; SINTERING; SWELLING; TRANSMUTATION; URANIUM; URANIUM ALLOYS; VOLATILITY Metal fuel, uranium, zirconium, low temperature fabrication, sintering, hydride/dehydride, fuel fabrication