Advertisement

(Th-U)O2 MOX Fuel Fabrication and Dry Recycling of the Sintered Rejects

  • Sudhir MishraEmail author
  • Kaushik Ghoshal
  • Joydipta Banerjee
  • Amrit Prakash
  • K. B. Khan
  • Arun Kumar
Conference paper

Abstract

Thorium is an important nuclear material. Due to its abundance in large quantity in India, our preceptors have envisaged three-stage nuclear power program. Thoria-based fuel is planned to be used in the third stage of nuclear power program. (Th-LEU)O2 mixed oxide (MOX) is the proposed fuel for AHWR-LEU-300 with UO2 content varying from 13 to 30 w%. Fabrication of ThO2-NU (natural uranium) fuel of similar composition with UO2 varying from 13 to 30% has been carried out in kg scale at Radiometallurgy Division. Conventional powder metallurgical processes like mixing, cold compaction, and sintering were employed for fabrication of ThO2-UO2 fuel pellets. Sintered density up to 93–94% TD could be achieved. XRD result on sintered pellet showed single-phase formation. Fuel fabrication process is always associated with generation of green/sintered rejects. Recycling of the sintered reject is important to judiciously utilize the feed material and avoid the accumulation of the waste. As thorium dioxide is a stable compound, recycling of process rejects of thoria-based fuels either by dry or wet route is difficult unlike UO2-based fuels. The stable oxidation state of thorium oxide limits oxidative-reductive processing of sinter rejects. Dissolution of thoria fuels in nitric acid is also difficult. The presence of UO2 (13–30 w%) in the ThO2-UO2 fuel pellets makes it amenable to oxidative-reductive processing by modifying the fabrication parameters. A process for recycling of the sintered reject has been successfully worked out. This paper discusses the fabrication aspects of Th-NU MOX fuel and dry recycling of process rejects.

Keywords

Fuel fabrication Powder metallurgy Recycling 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Authors would like to acknowledge their sincere thanks to all the staff members of Radiometallurgy Division involved in this work for providing their support during the course of the work.

References

  1. 1.
    A. Kakodkar, Shaping the 3rd stage of Indian nuclear programme. Paper presented at annual conference of the Indian nuclear society, INSAC-2001, Indore, 2001Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    K. Balakrishnan, S. Majumdar, A. Ramanujam, A. Kakodkar, The Indian perspective on thorium fuel cycles, IAEA TECDOC-1319 (Options and Trends, Thorium Fuel Cycle, 2002), p. 257Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Department of Atomic Energy in India, Atomic Energy in India. A Perspective, Government of India, Sept 2003. (http://www.dae.gov.in/publ/persp/persp03/persp03.pdf)
  4. 4.
    K. Anantharaman, V. Shivakumar, D. Saha, Utilisation of thorium in reactors. J. Nucl. Mater. 383, 119–121 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    A. Kakodkar, Nu - Power. 23, 22 (2009)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    R.K. Sinha, A. Kakodkar, Design and development of the AHWR—the Indian thorium fuelled innovative nuclear reactor. Nucl. Eng. Des. 236, 683–700 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sudhir Mishra
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kaushik Ghoshal
    • 1
  • Joydipta Banerjee
    • 1
  • Amrit Prakash
    • 1
  • K. B. Khan
    • 1
  • Arun Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.Radiometallurgy DivisionBhabha Atomic Research CentreTrombayIndia

Personalised recommendations