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Spark plasma sintering and microstructural analysis of pure and Mo doped U3Si2 pellets
KTH. AlbaNova University Center.
KTH. AlbaNova University Center.
2017 (English)In: Journal of Nuclear Materials, ISSN 0022-3115, E-ISSN 1873-4820, Vol. 496, p. 234-241Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

U3Si2 has been considered as an alternative fuel for Light Water Reactors (LWRs) within the Accident Tolerant Fuels (ATF) initiative, begun after the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear accidents. Its main advantages are high thermal conductivity and high heavy metal density. Despite these benefits, U3Si2 presents an anisotropic crystallographic structure and low solubility of fission products, which can result in undesirable effects under irradiation conditions. In this paper, spark plasma sintering (SPS) of U3Si2 pellets is studied, with evaluation of the resulting microstructure. Additionally, exploiting the short sintering time in SPS, a molybdenum doped pellet was produced to investigate the early stages of the Mo-U3Si2 interaction, and analyze how this fission product is accommodated in the fuel matrix. The results show that pellets of U3Si2 with high density (>95% TD) can be obtained with SPS in the temperature range of 1200 degrees C-1300 degrees C. Moreover, the short time employed in this technique was found to generate a unique microstructure for this fuel, composed mainly of closed nano-pores (<1 mu m) and small average grain size (similar to 4.5 mu m). The addition of Mo (1.5 at%) demonstrated no solubility of Mo in the U3Si2 matrix. The interaction of this fission product with the fuel matrix at 1200 degrees C formed, in the early stages, the stoichiometric U2Mo3Si4 ternary as well as precipitates of free uranium with small quantities of dissolved Si and Mo at the front of the reaction.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV , 2017. Vol. 496, p. 234-241
National Category
Chemical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-217727DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.09.037ISI: 000414205500026Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85030248887OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-217727DiVA, id: diva2:1159393
Note

QC 20171122

Available from: 2017-11-22 Created: 2017-11-22 Last updated: 2017-11-22Bibliographically approved

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