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Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors
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Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
2004 International RERTR Meeting

SET UP OF U-Mo POWDER PRODUCTION BY HMD PROCESS

Enrique E. Pasqualini, Marisol López and Alfredo Gonzalez
Dept. Combustibles Nucleares
Centro Atómico Constituyentes
Av. Gral Paz 1499
(B1650KNA) San Martín
Prov. Buenos Aires, Argentina


ABSTRACT
 

An industrial process for the fabrication of U-Mo powder have been set up with the development of the massive hydryding of uranium-molybdenum alloys in gamma phase at low temperature and pressure . The brittleness of the hydride allows performing conventional milling and dehydryding for obtaining U-Mo powder (hydryding-milling-dehydriding: HMD process).

The whole process involves the melting of the alloy, fractionating the alloy into lumps, two steps hydriding, size reduction of hydride by crushing, low impact milling, dehydriding and a very high temperature treatment. All this processes are performed in a licensed facility with the capability of working with enriched uranium.

The different steps in the process have been holly understood and optimized. Melting of the alloy is intended to be done in an arc furnace to reduce scrap and eliminate the fractionating step. The capability of massive hydriding in the gamma phase essentially depends on the previous introduction of hydrogen in traps that is performed at a slightly higher temperature than the intersticial filling. Previous crushing of the hydride is needed for the introduction of controlled size particles to the low impact mill. One pass threw the atmosphere controlled low impact mill produces specification size powder. A controlled temperature and pressure dehydriding is performed to avoid flying powder. A final step of high temperature treatment is performed to reduce even more remnant hydrogen, reduce oxide layer, homogenize composition, eliminate interior defects, increase density and with cooling, passivate the final product.

Known data of the whole process will be presented so as to thoroughly evaluate fabrication capabilities, performance and costs.


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Last modified on July 29, 2008 11:33 +0200