Low Temperature Sintering of Si3N4 Ceramics and its Applicability as an Inert Matrix of the Transuranium Elements for Transmutation of Minor Actinides
For the transmutation of the very long half-lived isotopes which are separated from the spent nuclear fuels, it is necessary to find proper inert matrices these are stable under heavy neutron irradiation at high temperature. Silicon nitride ceramics is a candidate since it is very tolerant for heavy neutron irradiation and keeps relatively high thermal conductivity. For these reasons, we try to sinter Si3N4 ceramics containing large amounts of CeO2 as a simulant for Am2O3, a typical transuranium element. The low-temperature pressureless-sintering behavior of the ceramics and chemical and thermal properties of the obtained sintered bodies are reported.
Katsutoshi Komeya, Yi-Bing Cheng, Junichi Tatami and Mamoru Mitomo
T. Yano et al., "Low Temperature Sintering of Si3N4 Ceramics and its Applicability as an Inert Matrix of the Transuranium Elements for Transmutation of Minor Actinides", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 403, pp. 23-26, 2009