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Abstract

The demand for REE was the background to include them to those consisting of the property of the State Treasury in Poland, enumerated in the Geological and Mining Law (Article 10). The PLN 500/kg REE payment for exploitation of REE (exploitation tax) was introduced. Both proposals will restrain the REE recovery from exploited domestic mineral commodities. The term REE is imprecise. Their deposits are rare and may be classified as “REE ore deposits”. The REE are often the accompanying constituents in varied mineral commodities and are recoverable during their processing, outside the mine. The application of an exploitation tax in such a case is inapplicable. The established value of the exploitation tax is incomparably high in respect to the value of the REE contained in mined mineral commodities. The analysis of introduced changes of mining and geological law allow to suggest the reevaluation of ownership based subdivision of mineral commodities: name the mineral commodities belonging to the land property owners and leave the list of mineral commodities consisting property of the State Treasury open. The more careful approach is also necessary in the formulation of Geological and Mining Law. It should be preliminary formulated by persons competent in geology and mining and subsequently adjusted to juridical exigencies.
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Abstract

U-10wt.%Zr metallic fuel slugs containing rare-earth (RE: a rare-earth alloy comprising 53% Nd, 25% Ce, 16% Pr and 6% La) elements for a sodium-cooled fast reactor were fabricated by modified injection casting as an alternative method. The distribution, size and composition of the RE inclusions in the metallic fuel slugs were investigated according to the content of the RE inclusions. There were no observed casting defects, such as shrunk pipes, micro-shrinkage or hot tears formed during solidification, in the metallic fuel slugs fabricated by modified injection casting. Scanning electron micrographs and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) showed that the Zr and RE inclusions were uniformly distributed in the matrix and the composition of the RE inclusions was similar to that of a charged RE element. The content and the size of the RE inclusions increased slightly according to the charge content of the RE elements. RE inclusions in U-Zr alloys will have a positive effect on fuel performance due to their micro-size and high degree of distribution.
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