2, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico, United States
3, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, United States
4, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, United States
5, Westinghouse, Västerås, , Sweden
Following the 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima, the United States Department of Energy began funding research to improve efficiency and robustness of nuclear fuel. Among the candidates are uranium-silicides, most notably U3Si2. Uranium-silicides have good thermal conductivity and higher uranium density when compared to UO2. Although the uranium-silicide system has been studied in the past, recent experimental findings indicate gaps in understanding the 60-66 at.% silicon region. In this work we fabricated samples in this compositional range using arc melting and characterized them using X-ray Diffraction and Scanning Electron Microscope-Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy to elucidate phase relations. In addition, phase transitions were determined using Differential Scanning Calorimetry.
This research is being performed using funding received from the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy's Nuclear Energy University Programs.