SCK•CEN is currently setting up a brand new line of glove boxes for MOX production and characterization, building up on the experience acquired in the UO2 lab and from Belgonucléaire. The new line will allow the fabrication UO2/PuO2 powder via wet routes, the mixing and co-milling of powders, pressing of pellets and sintering under perfectly controlled conditions (T, p(O2)) in a high temperature furnace in order to control fuel stoichiometry. A low temperature furnace with controlled atmosphere may be used for oxidation studies. High-end characterization technique (BET surface area analysis, thermogravimetry, XRD) will be available for characterizing powder characteristics, stoichiometry and phase in powder/pellets. This will allow performing a set of parametric studies to study the phase stability and oxidation behavior of high Pu content MOX in the framework of a PhD.
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