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By William L R Rice; U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Division of Reactor Development

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S w e l l i n g c o n t r o l , beyond t h a t a c h i e v e d by f i n e d i s p e r s i o n of p a r t i c l e s , can t h e n b e a t t e m p t e d . A d i g i t a l c o m p u t e r code w h i c h w i l l p e r m i t e v a l u a t i o n o f t h e most p r o b a b l e mechanism f o r t h e m i g r a t i o n sf r a r e gas a t o m s in m e t a l f u e l s h a s been w r i t t e n . T h i s w i l l p r o v i d z a means far e v a l u a t i n g how r e a s o n a b l e e x i s t i n g t h e o r i e s c o n c e r n i n g r a r e g a s a t o m d i f f u s i o n a r e , a n d a l s o how t o a p p l y t h e o r i e s d e v e l o p e d f n o n e c l a s s sf m a t e r i a l s ( i .

BATTEUE- NORTHWEST _JABORATORIES PLUTONIUM CERAMIC FUEL RESEARCH Introduction The purpose of t h i s program i s to i n v e s t i g a t e t h e basic p r o p e r t i e s of plutonium ceramic materials w i t h spec f a 1 emphasis on high temperature p r o p e r t i e s , c o m p a t i b i l i t i e s , and performance under neutron i r r a d i a t i o n , Plutonium-Oxygen System E a r l i e r s t u d i e s showed t h a t t h e hexagonal form of plutonium sesquioxide (B-Pu203 1 might be a superior h i g h temperature f u e l compound, A method f o r preparing B-Pu2O3 by carbon reduction of h 0 2 w a s developed, R-Pu2O3 was shown t o be u s e f u l l y s t a b l e , w i t h l i t t l e or no composition range, and t o be compatible w i t h T a a t 1650 C, Thorium, however, reduced t h e compound a t 450-500 C, S m a l l l a t e s o f FbO2 and B-Pu2O3 were i r r a d i a t e d t o 5 5 x 102O f/cm3 and 42 x 1 0 0 f/cm3, r e s p e c t i v e l y , Pu02 underwent severe s t r u c t u r a l change as evidenced .

Tungsten and rhenium powders were sized and carefully blended by tumble mixing and screening through 100-mesh sieves. Green compacts in the shape of hollow cylinders were formed by isostatically pressing the blended powders at 15 tsi. Preheating of l,lOOo C in vacuum for an hour and finally sintering at 2,400' C in hydrogen for 15 hours yielded a sintered tube shell of approximately 90 percent theoretical density and completely free of any second phase material. These homogeneous alloy shells have been distributed to several AEC contractors and national laboratories €or fabrication and evaluation tests.

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Nuclear fuels and materials development by William L R Rice; U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. Division of Reactor Development


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