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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2015, Article ID 376173, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/376173
Research Article

Fabrication of UO2 Porous Pellets on a Scale of 30 kg-U/Batch at the PRIDE Facility

Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daedeok-daero 989-111, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-353, Republic of Korea

Received 1 July 2015; Accepted 11 August 2015

Academic Editor: Kisor K. Sahu

Copyright © 2015 Sang-Chae Jeon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

In the pyroprocess integrated inactive demonstration (PRIDE) facility at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), UO2 porous pellets were fabricated as a feed material for electrolytic reduction on an engineering scale of 30 kg-U/batch. To increase the batch size, we designed and modified the corresponding equipment for unit processes based on ceramic processing. In the course of pellet fabrication, the correlation between the green density and sintered density was investigated within a compaction pressure range of 106–206 MPa, in terms of the optimization of processing parameters. Analysis of the microstructures of the produced UO2 porous pellets suggested that the pellets were suitable for feed material in the subsequent electrolytic reduction process in pyroprocessing. This research puts forth modifications to the process and equipment to allow the safe mass production of UO2 porous pellets; we believe these results will have immense practical interest.