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Workshop / Seminar

PChem Seminar

About the event

Speaker: Emma Carlsen Kindall

Group: Dr. Xiaofeng Guo

Title: Thermal Oxidation and High Temperature Structures of Uranium Carbide: in situ X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) Studies

Abstract: Uranium carbide boasts a number of characteristics that are well-suited to nuclear fuel applications, including a high melting point and tolerance to irradiation along with a higher thermal conductivity and fissile density than conventional uranium oxide fuels. These characteristics have sparked research interests in uranium carbides as a strong candidate for advanced fuels in emerging Generation IV reactors. Despite the potential advantages, their high susceptibility to oxidation is a large hurdle to their practical implementation in the nuclear energy industry. A robust understanding of the U-C-O system, including UC thermal oxidation, crystal chemistry, and thermodynamic properties is critical for predicting its behavior under normal and off-normal reactor conditions. In this work, in situ high temperature synchrotron x-ray diffraction under low oxygen and open-air conditions was performed to study UC structural high temperature and thermal oxidation behaviors. Discoveries made during these studies in combination with previous uranium carbide calorimetric work reveal gaps in our understanding of U-C-O system equilibria demonstrating further need for continued research.