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

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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 breach of a water-cooled reactor are discussed in this manuscript focused on the oxidation performance of uranium diboride and uranium monocarbide. Several high uranium density fuels are under consideration for deployment as accident tolerant and/or advanced technology nuclear reactor fuels, including UN, U3Si2, UB2, and UC. Presented here is the literature for UB2 and UC degradation modes, thermodynamics, and oxidation performance of the pure compounds and 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 behavior for high uranium density fuels for use in LWRs.