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Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal

Fuel Fabrication

CANDU Fuel Assembly
CANDU Fuel Assembly 

Compared to the chemical process before fuel fabrication, the actual construction of fuel rods is rather simple. Typically, enriched UF6 is converted into UO2 powder which is then pressed and sintered into small ceramic pellets. These pellets are inserted into small metal tubes Photo available on Mouseover called cladding. The tubes are usually composed of a zirconium alloy or stainless steel. The metal tubes ends are then sealed to form a fuel rod Photo available on Mouseover. Several fuel rods (anywhere from ~10 to ~250) are arranged together into a single fuel assembly Photo available on Mouseover.

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