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Report No.

Effect of Oxygen Potential on the Sintering behavior of MOX fuel containing Am

Miwa, Shuhei  ; Osaka, Masahiko  ; Yoshimochi, Hiroshi; Tanaka, Kenya; Seki, Takayuki*; Sekine, Shinichi*

The effect of oxygen potential on the sintering behavior of MOX fuel containing Am (Am-MOX) was investigated. Green pellets of Am-MOX were prepared by a conventional powder metallurgical technique. For Am-MOX fuel pellets sintered at various oxygen potential conditions, density measurement, microstructural observation and elements analyses by EPMA were performed High density pellets having good structure were obtained due to oxygen potential change of sintering atmosphere from high oxygen potential to low oxygen potential at 800$$^{circ}$$C in the cooling process.For the pellets sintered at -520 kJ/mol, -390 kJ/mol and -340 kJ/mol, the sintered density increases with increase of oxygen potential up to -390 kJ/mol (threshold oxygen potential), then decreases above the threshold oxygen potential. This tendency is similar to that observed in the (U,Gd)O$$_{2 }$$ system. The differences of sintering behavior for Am-MOX pellets which were observed by changing the oxygen potential were attributable to the difference of pore structure, which was supposed to be caused by the valence state of Am in the oxides. On the other hands, the grain size of Am-MOX pellet sintered at -520 kJ/mol was almost the same as that at -390 kJ/mol. Homogeneous distribution of U, Pu and Am was obtained at pellets sintered both -520 and -390 kJ/mol in these sintering conditions. For the pellets sintered at 1500$$^{circ}$$C , 1600$$^{circ}$$C , 1700$$^{circ}$$C , the high dense pellets are obtained, therefore This results shows the the possibility of fabrication of good fuel pellets at lower temperature than 1700$$^{circ}$$C



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