Title: Laser Melting and Annealing of Uranium Carbides
Citation: JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS vol. 385 p. 443-448
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC51025
ISSN: 0022-3115
URI: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jnucmat
DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2008.12.031
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In the context of the material research aimed at supporting the development of nuclear plants of the fourth Generation, renewed interest has recently arisen in carbide fuels. A profound understanding of the behaviour of nuclear materials in extreme conditions is of prime importance for the analysis of the operation limits of nuclear fuels, and prediction of possible nuclear reactor accidents. In this context, the main goal of the present paper is to demonstrate the feasibility of laser induced melting experiments on stoichiometric uranium carbides; UC, UC1.5 and UC2. Measurements were performed, at temperatures around 3000 K, under a few bars of inert gas in order to minimise vaporisation and oxidation effects, which may occur at these temperatures. Moreover, a recently developed investigation method has been employed, based on in situ analysis of the sample surface reflectivity evolution during melting. Current results, 2781 K for the melting point of UC, 2665 K for the solidus and 2681 K for the liquidus of U2C3, 2754 K for the solidus and 2770 K for the liquidus of UC2, are in fair agreement with early publications where the melting behaviour of uranium carbides was investigated by traditional furnace melting methods. Further information has been obtained in the current research about the non-congruent (solidus¿liquidus) melting of certain carbides, which suggest that a solidus¿liquidus scheme is followed by higher ratio carbides, possibly even for UC2.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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