Aneta Herman

PhD student, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Nuclear Chemistry

Uranium nitride (UN) is among the fuel types proposed to be utilized in the future by “Generation four nuclear reactors” and perhaps also in the current Light Water Reactors (LWRs). This motivation is foremost based on its high melting point and high thermal conductivity and high fissile atom density. On the downside, uranium nitride is incompatible with water – the UN fuel hydrolyses and undergoes a mechanical degradation while presented in hot water. The hydrolysis process is not yet well understood, several various parameters must be yet studied, e.g. the initial temperature and pressure of the reaction, the composition of the reaction products, the effect of fuel composition, fuel density and porosity etc.

This project aims at studying the degradation process of uranium nitride fuel under the condition of Light Water Reactor (high temperature and high pressure). The main focus is done on: the preparation of a study material – uranium nitride and the dissolution chemistry of uranium nitride in water. Further, the suitable metal nitrides as possible dopants, that would enhance the compatibility of such doped uranium nitride with water will be investigated.

Published: Mon 21 Dec 2015.