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A wide variety of fuel concepts are considered for advanced reactor technology including metals, metal oxides or metal nitrides as solid solutions or composite materials. Nitride fuels have appropriate properties for advanced fuels including high thermal conductivity, thermal stability, solid-state solubility of actinides, fissile metal density, and suitable neutronic properties. A drawback of nitride fuels involves their synthesis. A key parameter for preparing oxide fuels is the precipitation step in the sol-gel process. For nitride fuels, the current synthetic route is carbothermic reduction from the oxide to the nitride. This process step is based on solid phase reactions and for nitride fuel involves a stepwise process from the metal oxide, to the carbide, and finally the nitride. This high temperature, solid-phase approach is plagued by impurities in the final nitride product and difficulties in the synthesis and fabrication steps. If the nitride could be synthesized directly by a solution route then the impurities and other synthetic problems could be eliminated or at least minimized. The proposed solution route to nitride would also have the added benefit of providing several adjustable parameters that would allow control of the properties of the final solid product (fuel).

The objective of the proposed project is to develop solution phase synthetic routes for actinide nitrides for use in nuclear fuels.


Actinide elements; Mixed oxide fuels (Nuclear engineering); Nitrides; Nuclear chemistry; Nuclear fuels; Plutonium nitride; Solid oxide fuel cells; Transmutation (Chemistry)


Nuclear | Nuclear Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy | Physical Chemistry | Radiochemistry