The Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) has conducted investigations into the possibility of using Electromagnetic Pulse Technology (EMPT) in joining PM 2000 ODS and T91 ferritic-martensitic steels, using samples fabricated to simulate tube and end caps. The investigations are primarily directed towards the joining of cladding tubes to enable fuel pins to be produced in its laboratories. A suitable field former was fabricated and the tests coordinated and financed by ITU were carried out initially by a specialist EMPT company. To date, joints with a helium leak rate of leak in the range 10−8 mBar.litres.s−1 have been achieved. Further refinement of the parameters is now being done in order to improve the weld quality and achieve the target leak-rate of 1.0 × 10−9 mBar.litres.s−1.

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