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Title: Quantification of process variables for carbothermic synthesis of UC 1-xN x fuel microspheres

This report details the continued investigation of process variables involved in converting sol-gel-derived, urania-carbon microspheres to ~820-μm-dia. UC 1-xN x fuel kernels in flow-through, vertical Mo and W crucibles at temperatures up to 2123 K. Experiments included calcining of air-dried UO 3-H 2O-C microspheres in Ar and H 2-containing gases, conversion of the resulting UO 2-C kernels to dense UO2:2UC in the same gases and vacuum, and its conversion in N 2 to UC 1-xN x (x = ~0.85). The thermodynamics of the relevant reactions were applied extensively to interpret and control the process variables. Producing the precursor UO 2:2UC kernel of ~96% theoretical density was required, but its subsequent conversion to UC 1-xN x at 2123 K was not accompanied by sintering and resulted in ~83-86% of theoretical density. Increasing the UC 1-xN x kernel nitride component to ~0.98 in flowing N 2-H 2 mixtures to evolve HCN was shown to be quantitatively consistent with present and past experiments and the only useful application of H 2 in the entire process.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2]
  1. MPI Business Solutions, Inc., Knoxville, TN (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Nuclear Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 483; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS
OSTI Identifier:
1360046
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1414021