Challenges and Opportunities to Alloyed and Composite Fuel Architectures to Mitigate High Uranium Density Fuel Oxidation: Uranium Silicide

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The challenges and opportunities to alloyed and composite fuel architectures designed and intended to mitigate oxidation of the fuel during a cladding breech of a water-cooled reactor are discussed in three review manuscripts developed in parallel, with the presented article focused on the oxidation performance of uranium silicide. Several high uranium density fuels are under consideration for deployment as accident tolerant and/or advanced technology nuclear reactor fuels, including UN, U3Si2, UC and UB2. Presented here are the literature for the U3Si2 degradation modes, thermodynamics, and oxidation performance of the pure compound and its reported alloyed and composite architectures. Furthermore, this review covers the materials and techniques for the incorporation of additives, dopants, or composite fuel architectures to improve the oxidation/corrosion behavior for high uranium density fuels for use in LWRs.