THE PREPARATION OF HIGHLY ENRICHED U$sub 3$O$sub 8$ FOR THE HIGH FLUX ISOTOPE REACTOR CORE Page: 4 of 11
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Calcining and Presizing
The boat of uranium peroxide (U04) was loaded into an electric resistance furnace
and calcined for six hours at 800 C in an atmosphere of nitrogen. The boat con-
tained approximately 500 grams of uranium.
The material was removed from the furnance in the form of agglomerated pieces and
presized by rod milling and sieving to a size of 44 to 149 microns. The rod mill was
a stainless steel container five inches in diameter by ten inches in length containing
twelve 3/8-inch rods. The mills and sieves were limited to one-kilogram batches of
U308. Milling time was controlled at five minutes followed by a ten-minute siev-
ing cycle in a standard laboratory eight-inch sieve. Syntron Vibrating Test Sieve
Shakers were used for all sizing operations. The oversize oxide was recycled through
the milling operation with the undersize being dissolved in nitric acid and recycled
as feed for the peroxide precipitation step. A loss of approximately 5 percent was
experienced in the sizing operation for the low-fire step.
Sintering and Final Sizing
Six kilograms of low-fired U308 (sized 44 to 149 microns) were loaded into a
magnesium oxide crucible 51/2 inches in diameter by9 1/2 inches high. The charge
was placed in a Sentry Furnace (Figure 2) and heated in the ambient atmosphere
at 13500C for four hours followed with two hours at 14000C. When the oxide had
cooled to room temperature, it was milled and sized 44 to 88 microns with the same
procedure as outlined for the low-fired material. A loss of approximately 30 percent
was experienced in the sizing operation for the final product; however, the rejected
material was also recycled as feed for the peroxide precipitation step.
The furnace used for this operation was Number 4 Sentry, 220-volt, single-phase
resistance type with a power capacity of 22.5 kilowatts. A platinum lid was used
to cover the crucible in the furnace.
Sixteen kilograms of oxide were sampled as a batch after blending in an eight-quart
Patterson-Kelley blender. A cross-blending operation was performed on nine to ten
batch lots to provide good homogenity of the oxide. A yield of 85 percent was ex-
perienced for the program when comparing the feed material with the product pro-
duced. Chemical and physical test data are detailed in the Appendix.
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Barkman, J.R. THE PREPARATION OF HIGHLY ENRICHED U$sub 3$O$sub 8$ FOR THE HIGH FLUX ISOTOPE REACTOR CORE, report, February 1, 1966; Oak Ridge, Tennessee. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1025137/m1/4/: accessed March 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.