|About this Abstract
||MS&T23: Materials Science & Technology
||Thermodynamics of Materials in Extreme Environments
||Stability and use of Nitride and Carbide Nuclear Fuels in Advanced Reactors and Nuclear Propulsion in Space
||Theodore Besmann, Ronald E Booth, Reece McManus, Juliano Schorne-Pinto, Jhonathan Rosales, Antoine Claisse
|On-Site Speaker (Planned)
Non-oxide nuclear fuels have seen renewed interest in the growing activities on advanced terrestrial power reactors, and once again for power production and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) in space. The current presentation will review the nature of nitride and carbide fuels and their potential in-reactor behavior. A design for a lead-cooled reactor utilizes UN because of its high uranium volumetric fraction and thermal conductivity. NTP systems are looking to heat hydrogen propellant to very high temperatures using UC-based fuel due to its high uranium mass fraction and thermal conductivity. The melting temperature of UC is too low to get the desired rocket impulse, and thus additional components such as ZrC, TaC, and NbC forming a solid solution with UC are being investigated. This presentation will discuss the results of assessing the phase equilibria and thermodynamics of UN fuel undergoing burnup and complex carbide fuel for NTP.