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HIGH DENSITY U02 AND HIGH THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY UO2 COMPOSITES BY SPARK PLASMA SINTERING (SPS)

United States Patent Application

20150221398
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
Embodiments of the invention are directed to a method for production of a nuclear fuel pellet by spark plasma sintering (SPS), wherein a fuel pellet with more than 80% TD or more than 90% TD is formed. The SPS can be performed with the imposition of a controlled uniaxial pressure applied at the maximum temperature of the processing to achieve a very high density, in excess of 95% TD, at temperatures of 850 to 1600.degree. C. The formation of a fuel pellet can be carried out in one hour or less. In an embodiment of the invention, a nuclear fuel pellet comprises UO.sub.2 and a highly thermally conductive material, such as SiC or diamond.
Subhash, Ghatu (Gainesville, FL), Baney, Ronald Howard (Gainesville, FL), Tulenko, James S. (Gainesville, FL), Mckenna, III, Edward (Hillsboro, OR), Ge, Lihao (Gainesville, FL), Yeo, Sunghwan (Gainesville, FL)
14/ 420,702
August 15, 2013
[0002] This invention was made with government support under DE-AC07-05ID41517 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.