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A molecular dynamics study of the thermal properties of thorium oxide

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3 Author(s)
Martin, Paul ; School of Applied Sciences University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, United Kingdom ; Cooke, David J. ; Cywinski, Robert

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There is growing interest in the exploitation of the thorium nuclear fuel cycle as an alternative to that of uranium. As part of a wider study of the suitability of thorium dioxide (thoria) as a nuclear fuel, we have used molecular dynamics to investigate the thermal expansion, oxygen diffusion, and heat capacity of pure thoria and uranium doped (1-10%) thoria between 1500 K and 3600 K. Our results indicate that the thermal performance of the thoria matrix, even when doped with 10%U, is comparable to, and possibly better than, that of UO2.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:112 ,  Issue: 7 )

Date of Publication:

Oct 2012

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