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The fuels of today's nuclear electricity producing power stations are the ceramics UO(2) and the so-called mixed oxide (MOX) (U,Pu)O(2). For transmutation of the radiotoxic, long-living actinides Np, Am and Cm and of long-living fission products, so-called inert matrices are investigated. These are also ceramics, replacing UO(2) to avoid the formation of new actinides. Candidate materials are MgO, spinel MgAl(2)O(4), zircon ZrSiO(4), CeO(2), stabilized cubic ZrO(2), etc. For all these materials, property changes occur at long irradiation (high burnup) due to the in-growth of fission products and to the accumulation of radiation damage. Typical examples are polygonization of UO(2) at burnups above approximately 70 GWd(tM){-1} and swelling and/or amorphization of inert matrices. The present state of the knowledge on the behaviour and performance during long irradiation of the above two families of ceramics is presented and the problems occurring, or to be expected, are discussed.

Additional information

Authors: MATZKE H, JRC Karlsruhe (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: CIMTEC 98, World Congress on Ceramics, Firenze (IT), 14-19 June 1998
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 41140 ORA
Record Number: 199811155 / Last updated on: 1998-10-09
Original language: en
Available languages: en