UN-UB₂ composites

Joel Turner

J. Buckley, R.N. Worth, M. Barnett, T.J. Abram

University of Manchester


The hydrolysis of uranium mononitride remains a significant challenge to the deployment of UN within light water reactors. Various onset temperatures have been reported for the reaction, with some as low as 200°C, far below expected operating temperatures. In practice this could result in cladding issues leading to large amounts of fuel material washing out into the primary circuit, which is problematic. Preliminary work at Manchester seeks to improve the reaction onset temperature by the addition of UB2. Boride has several potential advantages when mixed with other high density fuel materials – it has a high thermal conductivity, can introduce burnable poison elements and may lead to the formation of protective phases or behaviour, which has been seen in U3Si2. Preliminary microstructural observations and steam reactions are presented which show a significant improvement over monolithic UN prepared in the same way.

Event Timeslots (1)

Tuesday – 14th September 2021
Joel Turner