Investigation of NdxY0.25–xZr0.75O1.88 inert matrix fuel materials made by a co-precipitation synthetic route
PublisherNRC Research Press
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Yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is a material that is being considered for use as an inert matrix fuel in nuclear reactors, but a complete characterization of these materials is required for them to be licensed for use. A series of NdxY0.25–xZr0.75O1.88 materials have been synthesized using a co-precipitation method, and the thermal stability of these materials has been studied by annealing them at 1400 and 1500 °C. (Nd was used as surrogate for Am.) The long-range and local structures of the materials were characterized via powder X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, wavelength dispersive spectroscopy, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy at the Zr K- and Y K-edges. These results were compared with the previous characterization of Nd-YSZ materials synthesized using a ceramic method. The results indicated that the ordering in the local metal–oxygen polyhedral remains relatively unaffected by the synthetic method, but there was increased long-range disorder in the materials prepared by the co-precipitation method. Further, it was found that the materials produced by the co-precipitation method were unexpect- edly unstable when annealed at high temperature. This study highlights the importance of determining the effect of synthetic method on material properties and demonstrates how the co-precipitation route could be used to produce inert matrix fuels.
CitationCan. J. Chem. 94: 198–210 (2016)