Thermal transport study in actinide oxides with point defects

A Resnick and K Mitchell and J Park and EB Farfan and T Yee, NUCLEAR ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY, 51, 1398-1405 (2019).

DOI: 10.1016/

We use a molecular dynamics simulation to explore thermal transport in oxide nuclear fuels with point defects. The effect of vacancy and substitutional defects on the thermal conductivity of plutonium dioxide and uranium dioxide is investigated. It is found that the thermal conductivities of these fuels are reduced significantly by the presence of small amount of vacancy defects; 0.1% oxygen vacancy reduces the thermal conductivity of plutonium dioxide by more than 10%. The missing of larger atoms has a more detrimental impact on the thermal conductivity of actinide oxides. In uranium dioxide, for example, 0.1% uranium vacancies decrease the thermal conductivity by 24.6% while the same concentration of oxygen vacancies decreases the thermal conductivity by 19.4%. However, uranium substitution has a minimal effect on the thermal conductivity; 1.0% uranium substitution decreases the thermal conductivity of plutonium dioxide only by 1.5%. (C) 2019 Korean Nuclear Society, Published by Elsevier Korea LLC.

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