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This pore former is required to be decomposed and removed from the matrix of MOX pellet completely with other organic additives such as binder and lubricant during de-waxing step prior to sintering, which results in the formulation of closed pores within MOX pellet to meet the specification of density. The original process flow for low density MOX pellet fabrication in PFPF is shown in Figure I. In this flow, the paraffine type additive was assumed to used as pore former and mixed into blended MOX powder with lubricant after granulation.

75 min. Precipitate at 20ºC 400ºC Air 60 min. 35 min. 120 min. 60 min. 4. Milling, pressing and sintering The powders thus obtained, were milled during four hours in a stainless-steel ball mill in order to increase their bulk densities. The results obtained after the milling are shown in the next table. Data of milled UO2 powder precipitated at pH 4-6 are also given in order to compare. Table X % Gd (metal) 0 2 4 6 8 Milled UO2 (pH 4-6 precipitation) Average diameter (microns) Specific surface area (m2/g) Oxygen / metal Ratio TAP density (g/cc) 0,21 0,10 0,55 0,38 0,80 3,75 8,00 10,10 11,80 11,02 2,07 2,09 2,19 2,16 2,24 2,66 2,54 2,39 2,45 2,26 3,10 4,09 2,08 3,33 Several pressing pressures were studied, resulting the 240 MPa the selected one because it gave the highest “green” density in each case.

0% of the theoretical density taking consideration into PCMI resistance of MOX pellet at higher burn up stage. Typical fuel specifications for MONJU MOX pellet are shown in Table I. 2. 1. Characteristics of low density MOX pellet fabrication In the ordinary MOX fuel fabrication process, feed PuO2 and UO2 powder are blended together with recycled MOX powder to meet fuel specification, pressed into the pellets and sintered at high temperature around 1700 degrees centigrade. Normally, the sintered density of this pellet reaches to around 95 % of theoretical density and this value is close to density specification of MOX pellet for other reactors.

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