Establishment of technological basis for fabrication of U-Pu-Zr ternary alloy fuel pins for irradiation tests in Japan
Kikuchi, Hironobu ; Nakamura, Kinya*; Iwai, Takashi; Nakajima, Kunihisa ; Arai, Yasuo; Ogata, Takanari*
A high-purity Ar gas atmosphere glovebox accommodating injection casting and sodium-bonding apparatuses was newly installed in Plutonium Fuel Research Facility (PFRF) of Oarai Research and Development Center, Japan Atomic Energy Agency. Past experiences in PFRF led to the establishment of technological basis of fabrication of U-Pu-Zr alloy fuel pin for the first time in Japan. After the injection casting of U-Pu-Zr alloy, the metallic fuel pins are fabricated by welding upper- and lower end plugs with cladding tube of ferritic-martensitic steel. Subsequent to the sodium bonding for filling the annular gap region between the U-Pu-Zr alloy and cladding tube with the melted sodium, the fuel pins are subjected to the inspection for irradiation tests. This paper summarizes the equipment of the apparatuses and the technological basis for fabrication of U-Pu-Zr alloy fuel pins for the coming irradiation test in the experimental fast test reactor JOYO.