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By D McEachern; ORNL

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Subsequent work at General Atomics has shown that, by careful control of impurities in the matrix material, bed compaction forces, injection parameters, and impurities in the high temperature furnace that particle damage can be avoided in compacts fabricated using particles of the standard TRISO design (Goodin 1996). A lack of commercial interest in the construction of reactor power plants has caused a contraction in availability of coated particle fabrication facilities. During 2002, lab-scale facilities for production of non-radioactive and uranium TRISO-coated particles have been reestablished at ORNL, and kernel and coating process studies are currently in progress.

At the same time the non-fissile nuclides in the TF have resonance capture cross sections at neutron energies slightly higher than the neutron energy characteristic of the moderator temperature. Capture in the TF provides a negative temperature coefficient throughout the cycle. The capture of neutrons in the non-fissionable actinide nuclei therefore performs the useful function of converting the non-fissile nuclei into fissionable nuclei (this is in contrast to the use of burnable poisons, such as erbium, to provide negative temperature coefficient where the neutrons captured do not further the transmutation function).

Production of Spherical UO2 –UC2 for Nuclear Fuel Applications,” J. Am. Ceram. , Vol. 65, pp. 321-324 (1982). , “Coating of Crystalline Nuclear Waste Forms to Improve Inertness,” J. Am. Ceram. , Vol. 65, pp. 394-398 (1982). , R. Burnette and W. , August 1973. ,. “Deep Burn Transmutation,” General Atomics Report No. FDO-EDO-NTRT-X-000132, December 2001. , “Laboratory and Engineering Studies of Sol-Gel Processes at Oak Ridge National Laboratory,” ORNL-TM-2205, May 1968. 2-22 GA-224-0-TRT-000167, Rev.

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