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Fabrication of homogenous pellets by freeze granulation of optimized TiO$_2$-Y$_2$O$_3$ suspensions

F. La Lumia 1, 2 L. Ramond 1, 2 C. Pagnoux 3 G. Bernard-Granger 1, 2, *
* Corresponding author
2 LFC - DEN/DMRC/SFMA/LFC
DMRC - Département de recherche sur les procédés pour la mine et le recyclage du combustible : DEN/DMRC/SFMA/LFC
3 IRCER-AXE1 - IRCER - Axe 1 : procédés céramiques
IRCER - Institut de Recherche sur les CERamiques : AXE1
Abstract : MOX fuels are used in nuclear reactors. To ensure the manufacture of MOX, wet processes are investigated. Freeze granulation of water-based powder suspension seems a promising way to yield homogenous and easy-to-press UO$_2$-PuO$_2$ granules. These granules are expected to form dense and homogenous pellets by uniaxial pressing. Granules and pellet properties are affected by suspension formulation and atomization conditions. Therefore, these conditions must be studied and optimized to produce granules with good processability and thus MOX pellets with compliant density, homogeneity and absence of defects. In this scope, key properties of water-based suspensions of UO$_2$ and PuO$_2$ surrogate powders, TiO$_2$ and Y$_2$O$_3$ respectively, were firstly studied to assess their suitability for the freeze granulation process. These properties were compared to those of UO$_2$ and PuO$_2$ suspensions to verify and confirm the correctness in the choice of surrogate powders. Then, the freeze granulation process itself was investigated focusing on TiO$_2$-Y$_2$O$_3$ suspensions.
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F. La Lumia, L. Ramond, C. Pagnoux, G. Bernard-Granger. Fabrication of homogenous pellets by freeze granulation of optimized TiO$_2$-Y$_2$O$_3$ suspensions. Journal of the European Ceramic Society, Elsevier, 2019, 39, pp.2168-2178. ⟨10.1016/j.jeurceramsoc.2019.01.036⟩. ⟨cea-02339879⟩

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