|About this Abstract
||2023 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition
||Ceramic Materials for Nuclear Energy Research and Applications
||Development of UC/UO2 Composite Fuels for Light Water Reactors
||Scarlett Widgeon Paisner, Joshua T White, Ian E Porter, Russell M Fawcett
|On-Site Speaker (Planned)
||Scarlett Widgeon Paisner
Development of accident tolerant fuels are important to improve the safety and economics of light water reactors (LWRs). Currently, UO2 is used in commercial reactors; however, the low thermal conductivity causes high fuel centerline temperatures under normal operation. Increasing the thermal conductivity can lead to improvements in steady-state and transient performance while reducing the stored energy of the reactor core, thus improving safety under operation. UO2 composite fuels can also increase the overall uranium density, therefore increasing the 235U loadings in a bundle to provide additional energy output. The work presented here will detail the development of UC/UO2 composite samples and includes investigation of the thermophysical properties, chemical stability at elevated temperature, oxidation performance, and microstructure of sintered pellets. The data shows a 25% improvement of the thermal conductivity with UC additions as little as 10 wt%, which can enable an easier licensing path relative to alternative new fuel concepts.