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Fabrication Routes for Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia Suitable for the Production of Minor Actinide Transmutation Targets


  • C. Jantzen—contributing editor

†Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. e-mail:


The actual fabrication processes of targets for the transmutation of actinides in nuclear reactors will need to be dust-free and compatible with automation and remote operation. The developments reported here mark an important technical breakthrough in the fabrication of highly active materials. The sol–gel external gelation, modified by the addition of carbon, and infiltration methods have been used here to produce high-quality, dust-free yttria-stabilized zirconia beads, with excellent compaction and sintering properties. Furthermore, the beads produced in this way have higher porosity, which permits the infiltration of hitherto unattainable quantities of the actinide.