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Report No.
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Fabrication of nitride fuels for transmutation of minor actinides

Minato, Kazuo ; Akabori, Mitsuo; Takano, Masahide ; Arai, Yasuo; Nakajima, Kunihisa ; Ito, Akinori; Ogawa, Toru

In the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute, the concept of the transmutation of minor actinides (MA: Np, Am and Cm) with accelerator-driven systems is being studied. The MA nitride fuel has been chosen as a candidate because of the possible mutual solubility among the actinide mononitrides and excellent thermal properties besides supporting hard neutron spectrum. MA nitrides of AmN, (Am,Y)N, (Am,Zr)N and (Cm0.4Pu0.6)N were prepared from the oxides by the carbothermic reduction method. The prepared MA nitrides were examined by X-ray diffraction and the contents of impurities of oxygen and carbon were measured. The fabrication conditions for MA nitrides were improved so as to reduce the impurity contents. For an irradiation test of U-free nitride fuels, pellets of (Pu,Zr)N and PuN+TiN were prepared and a He-bonded fuel pin was fabricated. The irradiation test started in May 2002 and will go on for two years in the Japan Materials Testing Reactor.

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Category:Materials Science, Multidisciplinary

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