Status and advances in MOX fuel technology by International Atomic Energy Agency

By International Atomic Energy Agency

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By International Atomic Energy Agency

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2) or metallic. Three layers of close fitting steel also provide good thermal conductivity of the packages as well as strength. The primary containment is a stainless steel screw-top can, which holds 5–7 kg of powder. Oxide from the finishing lines is remotely metered into storage cans under an inert atmosphere via a blender. The inner can, with a screwed lid, is accountancy weighed and welded into an intermediate can using a carbon dioxide laser. This intermediate can is then welded inside an outer can.

The awareness of such hazards is documented in literature such as Ref. [25]. The radiological considerations of the feed powder arise from the in-growth of 241Am and its gamma emissions, the alpha emissions from the plutonium isotopes and 241Am and the fast neutrons due to prompt fission. e. remote handling. The effect of ionizing radiation on the packaging materials has been extensively studied. Problems have been encountered in early experience of storing low burnup Magnox plutonium dioxide in the UK, owing to the deterioration of polythene intermediate bags [7].

In reality, the sources of plutonium are mixed and customers receive an amount of plutonium related to the fissile content of the spent fuel they are having reprocessed. Precipitation and finishing of plutonium dioxide is a batch operation at La Hague, ensuring identical isotopic composition through the batch, but it is a continuous process at Sellafield. Blending is required to ensure the contents of plutonium cans have a uniform isotopic composition. The homogeneity of the plutonium isotopic composition is important in terms of MOX fuel fabrication for nuclear design and core management considerations.

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