OPTIMIZATION OF PROCESS PARAMETERS OF UO2 POWDER PRODUCTION FOR HIGHER PELLET RECOVERY
13th International Conference on CANDU Fuel - 2016 Aug. 15-18


Presented at:
13th International Conference on CANDU Fuel
2016 Aug. 15-18
Location:
Kingston, ON Canada
Session Title:
AUGUST 16 - 18, 2016 Poster Display - Nuclear Fuel Complex, India

Authors:
D.S. Setty (NUCLEAR FUEL COMPLEX)
R.A.L.V. Kumar (NUCLEAR FUEL COMPLEX)
J. Venkataswamy (NUCLEAR FUEL COMPLEX)
S.K. Tiwari (NUCLEAR FUEL COMPLEX)
D.M. Reddy (NUCLEAR FUEL COMPLEX)
M. Misra (NUCLEAR FUEL COMPLEX)
G. Kalyanakrsihnan (Nuclear Fuel Complex, India)
N. Saibaba (NUCLEAR FUEL COMPLEX)
  

Abstract

The Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor uses fuel in the form of natural UO2 pellets, produced by powder metallurgy route from sinterable grade UO2 powder. Ex-AU route is widely accepted process for production of highly sinterable grade UO2 powder. The characterization of UO2 powder is always paramount for final pellet recovery. Sinterability of UO2 powder largely depends on precipitation and subsequent heat operation namely calcination and reduction. Ammonia flow rates during AU precipitation and temperature of calcination and reduction are critical to obtain desired UO2 powder characteristics for achieving high sinterability during pellet fabrication. The present paper discusses the effect of critical parameters of precipitation, calcinations and reduction on final product and successful optimization of process parameters resulting in increase of production rate by 50%. Keywords: Vapor ammonia, process parameters, sinterability, heat treatment operations and Characterization

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