Actinide nitride fuel is potentially a safer and more economical option inexisting power systems. Nitride fuel is also well suited for future fifth generation nuclear power systems that focus on safety and have a sustainable closed reactor fuel cycle. Actinide nitrides have superior thermal conductivity compared to oxides and are significantly more energy intensive.
Bi Nguyen, lead author of the study
Actinide nitride fuel can providegreater and stability due to its density, it is also more energy intensive and has better thermal conductivity, which will allow it to work at lower temperatures.
However, the production of actinide nitrides is a rather complicated procedure and this continues to be the main obstacle to their use.
Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory andThe Naval Research Laboratory found that LnBTA [lanthanide bis (tetrazole) amine] compounds can be burned to produce high-purity lanthanide nitride foams using a unique technology called combustion synthesis. This method uses a laser pulse to initiate dehydrated LnBTA complexes: they then undergo a self-sustaining combustion reaction in an inert atmosphere to form nanostructured lanthanide nitride penins.
In this way, the LnBTA compound can be easily obtained in large volumes. At the moment, work continues on the study of analogs of actinides for the synthesis of fuel from actinide nitrides during combustion.
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