A thermal desorption study of the kinetics of uranium hydride decomposition

R. S. Lillard, C. D. Taylor, J. R. Wermer, N. A. Mara, J. C. Cooley

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The decomposition of uranium hydride powder was studied using thermal desorption spectroscopy (TDS). In the TDS spectra, three distinct decomposition peaks were observed. However, only the high temperature peak was associated with an activation energy, calculated to be 43 kJ/mol H. This activation energy was used to construct outgassing diagrams that can be used to estimate the temperature and time dependence of UH3 decomposition. Potential models for explaining the three decomposition peaks and, thus, the decomposition mechanism are also presented and compared with H desorption energies calculated from first principles. Additional experiments on α-U coupons containing UH3 corrosion pits were also performed. In those samples in excess of 6 peaks are observed. It is shown that the first three hydrogen peaks are related to the decomposition of UH3.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Experimental work for this paper was performed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory under the Enhanced Surveillance Campaign, Thomas Zocco program manager. Data analysis and manuscript preparation were supported by the University of Akron. LANL is operated by Los Alamos National Security LLC for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the US Department of Energy under contract DE-AC52-06NA25396.


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