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Title: Development of molecular dynamics potential for uranium silicide fuels

Abstract

Use of uranium–silicide (U-Si) in place of uranium dioxide (UO2) is one of the promising concepts being proposed to increase the accident tolerance of nuclear fuels. This is due to a higher thermal conductivity than UO2 that results in lower centerline temperatures. U-Si also has a higher fissile density, which may enable some new cladding concepts that would otherwise require increased enrichment limits to compensate for their neutronic penalty. However, many critical material properties for U-Si have not been determined experimentally. For example, silicide compounds (U3Si2 and U3Si) are known to become amorphous under irradiation. There was clear independent experimental evidence to support a crystalline to amorphous transformation in those compounds. However, it is still not well understood how the amorphous transformation will affect on fuel behavior. It is anticipated that modeling and simulation may deliver guidance on the importance of various properties and help prioritize experimental work. In order to develop knowledge-based models for use at the engineering scale with a minimum of empirical parameters and increase the predictive capabilities of the developed model, inputs from atomistic simulations are essential. First-principles based density functional theory (DFT) calculations will provide the most reliable information. However, it is probably not possiblemore » to obtain kinetic information such as amorphization under irradiation directly from DFT simulations due to size and time limitations. Thus, a more feasible way may be to employ molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Unfortunately, so far no MD potential is available for U-Si to discover the underlying mechanisms. Here, we will present our recent progress in developing a U-Si potential from ab initio data. This work is supported by the Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS) program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1358201
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-16-37586
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Top Fuel 2016, Boise, ID, September 11–16, 2016
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; accident tolerance fuels; density functional theory; molecular dynamics potential; uranium–silicide

Citation Formats

Yu, Jianguo, Zhang, Yongfeng, and Hales, Jason D. Development of molecular dynamics potential for uranium silicide fuels. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
Yu, Jianguo, Zhang, Yongfeng, & Hales, Jason D. Development of molecular dynamics potential for uranium silicide fuels. United States.
Yu, Jianguo, Zhang, Yongfeng, and Hales, Jason D. Thu . "Development of molecular dynamics potential for uranium silicide fuels". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1358201.
@article{osti_1358201,
title = {Development of molecular dynamics potential for uranium silicide fuels},
author = {Yu, Jianguo and Zhang, Yongfeng and Hales, Jason D.},
abstractNote = {Use of uranium–silicide (U-Si) in place of uranium dioxide (UO2) is one of the promising concepts being proposed to increase the accident tolerance of nuclear fuels. This is due to a higher thermal conductivity than UO2 that results in lower centerline temperatures. U-Si also has a higher fissile density, which may enable some new cladding concepts that would otherwise require increased enrichment limits to compensate for their neutronic penalty. However, many critical material properties for U-Si have not been determined experimentally. For example, silicide compounds (U3Si2 and U3Si) are known to become amorphous under irradiation. There was clear independent experimental evidence to support a crystalline to amorphous transformation in those compounds. However, it is still not well understood how the amorphous transformation will affect on fuel behavior. It is anticipated that modeling and simulation may deliver guidance on the importance of various properties and help prioritize experimental work. In order to develop knowledge-based models for use at the engineering scale with a minimum of empirical parameters and increase the predictive capabilities of the developed model, inputs from atomistic simulations are essential. First-principles based density functional theory (DFT) calculations will provide the most reliable information. However, it is probably not possible to obtain kinetic information such as amorphization under irradiation directly from DFT simulations due to size and time limitations. Thus, a more feasible way may be to employ molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Unfortunately, so far no MD potential is available for U-Si to discover the underlying mechanisms. Here, we will present our recent progress in developing a U-Si potential from ab initio data. This work is supported by the Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS) program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Thu Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

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