Martin, Paul, Cooke, David J. and Cywinski, R. (2012) A molecular dynamics study of the thermal properties of thorium oxide. Journal of Applied Physics, 112 (7). 073507. ISSN 0021-8979

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 1500K 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.

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