The effect of precipitation and calcination parameters on oxalate derived ThO2 pellets

Tadeáš Wangle, Václav Tyrpekl, Simone Cagno, Thierry Delloye, Olivier Larcher, Thomas Cardinaels, Jozef Vleugels, Marc Verwerft

    Research outputpeer-review


    Thorium oxalate is easy to prepare, but the derived oxide powders retain the platelet morphology of the primary oxalate. This negatively impacts packing and sintering. If powder milling is to be avoided, powder synthesis needs to be optimized. That is the goal of this paper, where different precipitation strategies were used and their effect on powder characteristics and pellet synthesis was investigated. Oxalates prepared by adding a thorium nitrate solution to an oxalic acid solution proved most promising. Further optimizing of the calcination temperature revealed that with increasing calcination temperature the packing density improved significantly. This came at the cost of decreased early stage sintering and a higher frequency of end-capping during compaction. The calcination temperature at which the highest final density can be reached was dependent on the sintering cycle. Furthermore, the ThO2 powders had less surface area and thus adsorbed less gases during storage when calcined at higher temperatures.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)128-137
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
    StatePublished - 1 Nov 2017

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