US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Loading a nuclear fuel rod with pellets of uranium oxide. The pellets may be seen in the container in the foreground. The pellets are placed end-to- end into the thin trough. The tubular cladding of the rod is then slid over the pellets from the left, thus filling it. Any air inside the rod is expelled and replaced by helium, and the ends of the rod welded closed. The pellets are made from a mixture of uranium oxides, primarily uranium dioxide and the semimetallic uranium monoxide. This photograph was taken at the Fast Flux Test Facility, a nuclear research establishment in Washington state, USA.
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