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Effect of oxygen-to-metal ratio on densification behavior in the sintering process of PuO$$_{2}$$ pellet

Uchida, Teppei; Sunaoshi, Takeo*; Kato, Masato  

MOX fuel pellets are produced from UO$$_{2}$$ and PuO$$_{2}$$ powders by mechanical blending method. It is important to control pellet density in the pellet production. To investigate the change of the sintering rate depending on O/M ratio is important for MOX pellet production. The purpose of this work is to investigate the densification behavior of PuO$$_{2}$$ which is one of the starting materials as a function of O/M ratio. Thermal dilatometer was employed to measure pellet densification. The measurements were carried out in atmosphere of air and Ar/H$$_{2}$$ gas mixture added moisture. Powder of PuO$$_{2}$$ was pressed and measured at 1923 K in various conditions. The changes of grain size and densification rate were observed with O/M ratio. The PuO$$_{2}$$ pellet sintered in air was very low density of 84%TD. The highest density pellet of 96%TD was obtained by sintering at O/M ratio of about 1.99.

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