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Title: Graphite fuel studies, Part 3 - compaction of graphite and mixtures of graphite and fissile and fertile materials.
Authors: May, JR
Issue Date: May-1961
Publisher: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Abstract: Sound high density cylinders of graphite have been made by cold compacting finely ground artificial graphite at pressure of 60 t.s.i. Cylinders could be made only if the graphite used was 50 percent, finer than 10 microns and freshly ground. Storage of the powder in moist atmospheres or heating of the powder reduced its compacting properties. Uranium and thorium metal powder and uranium and thorium oxide up to 60 weight per cent, equivalent metals have been added to the graphite and sound cylinders made from the mixtures. The compacts have been heated to high temperatures (up to 2800°C) to convert the metals or oxides to carbides which rapidly hydrolyse in moist air. Measurements of compressive strength and density changes and investigation of the properties of the compacts on thermal cycling have been made. Compacts made from metal powders are considered satisfactory for use fuel for a High Temperature Gas Cooled reactor system provided their irradiation stability is satisfactory. Recommendations for further work are made.
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