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Патент USA US3082173

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nited States Patent 0 M
3,®8Z,i63
'Patented Mar. 19, 1963
1
2
3,082,163
in the form of gas are evolved. The resulting adherent
mass is a single phase solid solution of plutonium mono
carbide and uranium monocarbide which may be re
METHOD FOR PREPARING URANIUM MONO
C A R B I D E-PLUTONIUM MGNOCAIDE
SOLID SOLUTION
Allen E. Ogard, Joseph A. Leary, and William J. Mara
man, Los Alamos, N. Mere, assignors to the United
States of America as represented by the United States
fabricated into the shape determined by the reactor de
slgn.
Solid solution structures of the following composition
have been produced by this method:
Atomic Energy Commission ‘
No Drawing. Filed Aug. 25, 1961, Scr. No. 134,060
2 Claims. (Cl. 204-1932)
This invention relates to the preparation of solid solu
10
tions and more particularly to a method of preparing
It is understood that the above description is by way of
uranium monocarbide-plutonium monocarbide solid solu
illustration and is not to be considered as a limitation upon
tions.
scope of this invention.
A solid solution of luranium monocarbide and plutonium 15
What is claimed is:
monocarbide is useful as a nuclear reactor fuel and is
1. A method of preparing a single phase solid solution
especially useful as a fuel in fast plutonium-239 breeder
of
uranium monocarbide and plutonium monocarbide
reactors. The solid solution form is desirable because
comprised of the steps of mixing the powder form of
such isotropic structures have superior properties under
uranium dioxide, plutonium dioxide and graphite in a
irradiation conditions and thermal cycling.
20 ratio determined by the equation:
The preparation of uranium and plutonium carbides
by reaction of their respective dioxides with carbon is de
sirable because the oxides represent readily available and
where x-I-y equals unity and z is greater than .9 but less
relatively cheap starting compounds. When stoichiometric
than unity, compacting, then heating the said powders in
quantities of uranium dioxide, plutonium dioxide, and 25 a vacuum to a temperature of 1850° C. and holding the
carbon are reacted by heating in vacuum, the resulting
mixture at this temperature until no additional carbonace
product is always a heterogeneous mixture of monocarbide
ous oxides are evolved.
and higher carbides such as di- and sesquicarbides. This
2. A method of preparing a single phase solid solu
structure is undesirable.
tion of uranium monocarbide and plutonium monocar
'It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a 30 bide comprised of the steps of mixing the powder of urani
method for the preparation of single phase solid solutions
um dioxide, plutonium dioxide, and graphite in a ratio
of uranium monocarbide-plutonium monocarbide.
determined by the equation:
An embodiment of the method herein disclosed is as
follows: Uranium dioxide, plutonium dioxide, and graphite
powders are mixed in a ratio based on the following calcu 35 where x equals :8, y equals .2, and z equals .95, com
pacting, then heating the said powders in a vacuum to a
lation:
The ratio of y to x will be determined by the nuclear re
actor application. However, this value usually will be
between .05 and .50 on an atomic basis.
temperature of 1850° 1C. and holding the mixture at this
temperature until no additional carbonaceous oxides are
evolved.
In the above
equation, x+y equals lunity. The value of z is selected
so that z is greater than .9 but less than unity.
The
powders after being mixed in the ratio as determined by
the above calculation are compacted into an adherent mass
by conventional equipment. The compacted mass is heat 45
ed in a vacuum to a temperature of 1850° C. and held
at this temperature until no ?urther carbonaceous oxides
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
FOREIGN PATENTS
1,055,704
Germany ____________ __ Apr. 23, 1959
OTHER REFERENCES
AEC Document 'NDA-2l40-2, October 1959, pp. 2, 4
and 31 relied ‘upon.
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