Dr. Darryl Butt
Oxide nuclear fuel processing has the ability to convert long-lived actinide waste into short-lived fission products through fast reactors. Research is needed to improve the overall efficiency of this process to ensure it is a viable and sustainable option. Boise State University (BSU) worked in collaboration with others to synthesize, consolidate, and characterize complex surrogate oxide systems for use as advanced nuclear fuels. The objective of this work was to demonstrate the atmosphere affects on the final composition and density of the final fuel. The scope of this work included the identification of surrogate fuel compositions (target fuels, mixed oxide (MOX) fuels, and transuranium (TRU)/MOX fuels), acquisition and characterization of the initial starting powders, the synthesis and characterization of surrogate fuel compositions and the study of atmospheric effects on the sintering of the aforementioned fuel compositions. The microstructures of the fuels were characterized using electron microscopy, optical microscopy, and density determinations.