Standard Active Last Updated: Jan 11, 2017
ASTM C833-17

Standard Specification for Sintered (Uranium-Plutonium) Dioxide Pellets for Light Water Reactors


This specification covers finished sintered and ground (uranium-plutonium) dioxide pellets for use in thermal reactors. It applies to uranium-plutonium dioxide pellets containing plutonium additions up to 15 % weight. The diversity of manufacturing methods shall be recognized by which uranium-plutonium dioxide pellets are produced and the many special requirements for chemical and physical characterization that may be imposed by the operating conditions to which the pellets will be subjected in specific reactor systems. The following are different chemical requirements that shall be determined: uranium content, plutonium content, impurity content, stoichiometry, moisture content, gas content, and americium-241 content. Nuclear requirements such as isotopic content, plutonium equivalent at a given date, equivalent boron content, and reactivity shall also be determined. Physical properties of the pellets like dimensions, density, grain size, pore morphology, plutonium-oxide homogeneity, plutonium-oxide particle size, plutonium-oxide particle distribution, integrity, and surface cracks shall be determined as well. The surfaces of finished pellets shall be visually free of loose chips, oil, macroscopic inclusions, and foreign materials. An estimate of the fuel pellet irradiation stability shall be obtained unless adequate allowance for such effects are factored into the fuel rod design. The estimate of the stability shall consist of either conformance to the thermal stability test as specified in the or by adequate correlation of manufacturing process or microstructure to in-reactor behavior, or both.


1.1 This specification covers finished sintered and ground (U, Pu)O2 pellets for use in light water reactors. It applies to (U, Pu)O2 pellets containing plutonium additions up to 15 weight % (wt%; that is, 0.15 g Pu / g (U + Pu + Am)).

1.2 Pellets produced under this specification are available in four grades.

1.2.1 Grade R—240Pu content of (Pu + Am) (that is, g 240Pu / g (Pu + Am)) is at least 19 %.

1.2.2 Grade F—240Pu content of (Pu + Am) is at least 7 % and less than 19 %.

1.2.3 Grade N1—240Pu content of (Pu + Am) is less than 7 %.

1.2.4 Grade N2—240Pu /239Pu does not exceed 0.10.

1.3 There is no discussion of or provision for preventing criticality incidents, nor are health and safety requirements, the avoidance of hazards, or shipping precautions and controls discussed. Observance of this specification does not relieve the user of the obligation to be aware of and conform to all applicable international, federal, state, and local regulations pertaining to possessing, processing, shipping, or using source or special nuclear material. Examples of U.S. government documents are Code of Federal Regulations Title 10, Part 50—Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities; Code of Federal Regulations Title 10, Part 71—Packaging and Transportation of Radioactive Material; and Code of Federal Regulations Title 49, Part 173—General Requirements for Shipments and Packaging.

1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

1.5 The following safety hazards caveat pertains only to the technical requirements portion, Section 4, of this specification: This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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Book of Standards Volume: 12.01
Developed by Subcommittee: C26.02
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/C0833-17
ICS Code: 27.120.30