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Abstract

An accurate method for melting-point measurement of refractory nuclear ceramics was developed, based on laser-pulse heating and thermal arrest detection. The temperature measurement is performed by a combined use of a brightness pyrometer and a high-speed spectrometer working in the range of 500 to 900nm. This method provides both the true temperature and the spectral emissivity function of the examined materials. Pure sintered MgO and a Mg:Am mixed oxide were first measured. The resulting melting point of the former (2350+/-20°K) is significantly higher than that commonly recommended and decreases with the addition of americium. Furthermore, UO(2) irradiated to 37,000MWd/t and submitted to a reactor loss-of-coolant test was investigated: the melting point decreases from 3120°K, in the as-fabricated state, to 2950°K. Both fresh Zr:U mixed oxides and "corium" lava from a reactor meltdown experiment were also investigated.

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Additional information

Authors: RONCHI C, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, Karlsruhe (DE);SHEINDLIN M, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Transuranium Elements, Karlsruhe (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: International Journal of Thermophysics, 23(1), (January 2002), pp.293-305
Record Number: 200214813 / Last updated on: 2002-06-20
Category: PUBLICATION
Original language: en
Available languages: en