Document Type

Annual Report

Publication Date



The preliminary studies into the synthesis of actinide nitride fuels through a low temperature, liquid ammonia based synthesis route have been conducted on the uranium containing system, and there is good indication for the success of synthesizing uranium (III) nitride. The dissolution of iodine in ammonia is a rapid process, resulting in a pale green solution, which does not result in any observable oxidation of iodine. The cannula transfer of dissolved iodine into the reaction vessel containing U metal has been conducted with little to no residual iodine remaining in the original flask. The metal being used for these reactions has a noticeable brown/black oxide coating that prevents the formation of UI3 (NH3)x.

Stirring of U metal fragments with dissolved iodine in ammonia for 24 hours revealed a thickening of the oxide coating, which presumably is a result of O2 or H2O contamination in the solvent. Procedures for cleaning the metal prior to the reaction are under development. Two measures are being taken in order to use the most purified solvent possible; the highest grade ammonia available is being obtained and several procedures are being developed to dry and deoxygenate the solvent. These actions should allow the reaction to proceed without formation of the boundary oxide layer between the two reactants.


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


Nuclear | Nuclear Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy