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Title: U 3Si 2 behavior in H 2O environments: Part II, pressurized water with controlled redox chemistry

Recent interest in U 3Si 2 as an advanced light water reactor fuel has driven assessment of numerous properties, but characterization of its response to H 2O environments is sparse in available literature. The behavior of U 3Si 2 in H 2O containing atmospheres is investigated and presented in a two-part series of articles. This work examines the behavior of U 3Si 2 following exposure to pressurized H 2O at temperatures from 300 to 350 °C. Testing was performed using two autoclave configurations and multiple redox conditions. Use of solid state buffers to attain a controlled water chemistry is also presented as a means to test actinide-bearing systems. Buffers were used to vary the hydrogen concentration between 1 and 30 parts per million H 2. Testing included UN, U 3Si 5, and UO 2. Both UN and U 3Si 5 were found to rapidly pulverize in less than 5 h at 300 °C. Uranium dioxide was included as a control for the autoclave system, and was found to be minimally impacted by exposure to pressurized water at the conditions tested for extended time periods. Testing of U 3Si 2 at 300 °C found reasonable stability through 30 days in 1–5more » ppm H 2. However, pulverization was observed following 35 days. The redox condition of testing strongly affected pulverization. Characterization of the resulting microstructures suggests that the mechanism responsible for pulverization under more strongly reducing conditions differs from that previously identified. Hydride formation is hypothesized to drive this transition. In conclusion, testing performed at 350 °C resulted in rapid pulverization of U 3Si 2 in under 50 h.« less
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); The Univ. of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-17-30040
Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Nuclear Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 500; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (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; Material Science
OSTI Identifier:
1415427