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Fabrication of Uniform Ce/Eu Oxide Microparticles by a Microfluidic Co-Sol-Gel Process as an Analog Preparation of MA-Bearing Ceramic Nuclear Fuel Particles

Ya-Ting Yang, Xiang Li, Cao-Fei Fu, Tong Song, Zhen-Qi Chang, Da-Qiao Meng, Christophe A. Serra

Nuclear Science and Engineering / Volume 181 / Number 2 / October 2015 / Pages 216-224

Technical Paper /

First Online Publication:July 23, 2015
Updated:September 30, 2015

The transmutation concept of minor actinide (MA)–bearing nuclear fuel plays an important role in managing highly radioactive waste. A facile route combining the sol-gel process and microfluidic technology was presented to fabricate Ce/Eu oxide microspheres as a surrogate for plutonium-based MA-bearing nuclear fuel. Uniform Ce/Eu oxide microspheres with a varied Eu content (7.90%, 13.00%, and 17.56%) were successfully fabricated using the co-sol-gel method. The prepared microspheres had a narrow size distribution (coefficient of variance < 2%) and excellent sphericity (dmax/dmin < 1.09). The Ce and Eu elements were shown to have a relatively homogeneous distribution in the microspheres through energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy mapping images. Thermal behavior analysis, microstructure observation, and crystalline structure analysis were conducted systematically. The X-ray diffraction patterns showed one cubic lattice structure for all of the samples.

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