Several fissile kernels are considered for the TRISO particles of (Very) – High Temperature Reactors (V)-HTR. Considering uranium as the fissile nucleus, the basic chemical composition of the TRISO fuel is always made of UO2 which can be added by some UC2 carbide. The high level operating temperature of this fuel implies to determine the products formed by the interactions between these two previous compounds. Some UO2 kernels embedded in black carbon were heated in the 1250–1400°C temperature range in order to determine the kinetics of gaseous species formation [1] and the relative stability of the oxide and carbide phases. After High Temperature Mass Spectrometry (HTMS) experiments, the products formed during the interaction between uranium oxide (UO2) and carbon powders were characterized by various global and punctual analysis methods. The XRD diagram showed the presence of UO2 and UC phases. The contrasts of density observed by SEM in the Quadrant Back-Scattering Detector (QBSD) mode also allowed to highlight both oxide and carbide phase distributions within the TRISO kernels. During SEM observations, some particles showed particular profiles resulting from “non-uniform” reactional mechanisms as already described by Lindemer [2]. In other singular cases, the interaction between UO2 and carbon led to the formation of the UC phase in the middle of the kernel, the UO2 phase remaining at the outside part. Complementary EDS analyses confirmed the results on both oxide and carbide phases. By considering the interference energies between the K-ray of carbon and the N-ray of uranium, the study of the ray intensities consolidated the contrast distributions observed in SEM. Thanks to these results, some assumptions are also advanced concerning the dissolution of oxygen in the UC crystalline structure.

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