|About this Abstract
|MS&T23: Materials Science & Technology
|Ceramics for New Generation Nuclear Energy System Application
|M-2: Synthesis of Uranium Nitride Nuclear Fuel
|Sarah Cole, Ryan Finkelstein, Allyssa Bateman, Elizabeth Sooby, Brian Jaques
|On-Site Speaker (Planned)
In order to sustain the U.S. nuclear reactor fleet, the industry is currently bolstering its advanced fuel cycle through the development of novel fuel forms. Advanced Technology Fuels (ATF) such as uranium nitride (UN) offer higher uranium density, higher thermal conductivity, and lower coefficient of thermal expansion compared to currently used uranium dioxide (UO2) fuels. These properties have the potential to lead to increased power uprates, longer cycle lengths, and improved performance. While there are numerous synthesis techniques for UN, this study focuses on the carbothermic reduction of UO2 prior to nitriding due to its cost, efficiency, and process scalability. Synthesized UN powder was characterized for phase purity before being pressed and sintered in order to study the effects of sintering time, temperature, and atmosphere on pellet density and microstructure.