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Ceramic–Metal (Cermet) Composites: A Review of Key Properties and Synthesis Methods Focused on Nuclear Waste Immobilization

Cite this: Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 2024, 63, 14, 6003–6023
Publication Date (Web):March 4, 2024
https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.iecr.3c04450
Copyright © 2024 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    This paper reviews key properties, applications, and examples of ceramic–metal composites (cermets) and metal matrix composites (MMCs) with emphasis on their applicability as waste forms for immobilizing nuclear waste. While the literature is mature for vitrified and cementitious radioactive waste forms, cermet materials have not received adequate attention as potential candidates for immobilizing nuclear waste. To promulgate this effort, this review connects cermet and MMC design, such as hardened tools, with the chemistry of radioactive waste streams. This paper includes a discussion on certification and qualification standards for cermet waste forms, literature gaps, and “how-to” sections on cermet processing techniques. Key parameters discussed include thermal conductivity, chemical durability, and waste loading, as well as examples for metal-containing waste forms. As cermet waste forms gain momentum within the community, this review paper aims to ensure the end-of-life nuclear fuel cycle is addressed from a materials and waste disposition perspective.

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    • Volatile off-gas waste components and methods for immobilization, spent fuel compositions for various fuel cycle schemes, summary of chemical durability and corrosion test data for selected cermets, and Figure 15 data for MMC and CMC compositions including thermal conductivity and CTE for each phase (PDF)

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