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Instrument Description

The Experimental Fuels Fabrication (EFF) facility and the Fuels and Applied Science Building (FASB) have been designed to allow uranium handling in a metal, ceramic, solid monolithic, or powder form of any uranium-235 enrichment. Uranium can be handled on the benchtop or local contamination areas for low-contamination items, radiological fume hoods for items with moderate risk of contamination spread, and a glovebox for applications where contamination spread is likely. The glovebox contains a recirculated purified argon atmosphere, which allows processing of air-sensitive materials, such as metallic uranium and uranium alloy powders. Several atmospheric control furnaces are available for melting/casting of custom alloys or heat treatment studies.



EFF and FASB have been designed to perform experimental fuel fabrication and characterization. Fabrication can range from simply encapsulation of a typical fuel form to fabricating a novel fuel alloy in a unique configuration. The argon glovebox can be used for powder handling activities, processing of air-sensitive materials, as well as general contamination control for other operations. Encapsulation can be done using automated gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW) capabilities housed in purified inert atmosphere gloveboxes. A small welding glovebox has been set up to allow for a flexible gas composition by using procured mixed gases and also includes helium content monitoring as a verification of the gas composition. Novel metallic fuel alloys and forms can be produced on the gram scale through arc melting to several-kilogram scale through vacuum induction melting. Both of these systems can be used to cast a number of cast shapes. Furnaces are available for heat treatments in either inert or vacuum atmospheres with a water quench or furnace cool. Additional high-temperature vacuum furnaces are also available for sintering or other high-temperature processes. Once the fuel is produced, basic metallographic and thermal characterization equipment can be used for characterization of the fuel. 

Instrument sample preparation area; Shielded optical microscopy vacuum testing chambers testing properties gross and isotopic gamma scanning; Instron remote load frame gas measurement and analysis accident condition simulator furnace extrusion; Metallic fuel line; Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative glovebox; Glovebox advance casting system furnace; Metallic fuel line; Metallic fuel line handling; Inert-radiological gloveboxes; Uranium handling repackaging glovebox; Transuranic breakout glovebox gamma irradiator surveillance glovebox line; Cell area Quanta 3D FEG dual-beam SEM FIB JSM-7000f SEM; Gatan precision etching and coating system; Gatan precision ion polishing systems II; Gatan precision ion polishing systems JEM 2010 STEM Cameca SX100R EPMA FEI QUANTA 3D FEG Titan ChemiSTEM FEG-STEM FEI Helios dual-beam SEM-plasma FIB diffraction; Micro X-ray diffractometer Di LemmaJEOL JSM-7000f SEM coupled plasma-mass spectrometer coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometer; Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometer coupled plasma-mass spectrometer advance casting system furnace; Hot uniaxial press furnace mass spectrometer; ELTRA CS-800; ELTRA ONH-2000 furnace; Differential scanning calorimeter; Simultaneous thermal analyzer; Pushrod dilatometer; Laser flash analyzer Separator Laboratories X-ray diffractometer; X-ray diffraction; Hot uniaxial press furnace
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