NATIONAL

Now, a cheap way to produce nuclear fuel using electricity

Scientists in Russia have developed a unique, low-cost method for producing high-quality nuclear fuel using electricity.

The main type of fuel for nuclear power reactors is the uranium oxide pellet composition, said Ivan Tananaev, from the Far Eastern Federal University School of Natural Sciences. It is produced from a powder by granulation, pressing, and sintering (coalescing into a solid or porous mass by heating) with the subsequent control of the quality and size of the pellets.

Powder metallurgy

The new technology allows one to obtain products that are of high quality and to reduce the number of production stages without increasing the cost.

The researchers have proposed an alternative mode of production, which forms the basis of powder metallurgy: electric pulse sintering under pressure.

“The key idea of our method is heating by an electric current passing through the mould with the powder placed in it,” said Mr. Tananaev. — PTI

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