2017 | AFC ACCOMPLISHMENTS 32 corresponding to the left most pellet. Such reduction in unit cell volume can be explained with incorporation of nitrogen atoms into the U3Si5 matrix. Measurement of the crystal orientation distribution (texture) using neutron diffraction furthermore provided a random orientation of the UN grains while in the 2mm probed volume for the data shown as pole figures in (f) the U3Si5 appears only in three grain orientations. Such strong texture, consistent with the presence of three single crystals in the interrogated volume, could be explained with melting of the silicide phase during sintering followed by resolidification as single crystals. The UN, with a higher melting point, remained solid, preserving the random grain orientation of the pre-sintered compacted material.The thermal expansion of U3Si5 along the crystallographic a and c axes is to the best of our knowledge unknown and will be measured in high temperature neutron powder diffraction experiments in the future. If significant anisotropy exists, i.e. the expansion along the a and c axes is substantially different, the resulting thermal stresses may lead to cracking of the sample, e.g. during an irradiation test. Since visual inspection of the pellet did not reveal the significantly different microstructure of this particular pellet, interpretation of an irradiation test would have been difficult.The presence of larger scatter of the areal density observed in the energy- resolved neutron imaging could then be explained by density variations due to melted and resolidified U3Si5 leaving behind voids. In the future, we plan to design and build a shielding container that allows application of the aforementioned neutron characterization techniques to irradiated, highly radioactive samples. A schematic of the present design is shown in Figure 4a.A similar cask, shown in Figure 4b, was used at the Chalk River Reactor to characterize spent fuel from that facility, thus establishing precedence that this type of measurement is feasible.The authorization basis of the Lujan Center at LANSCE, where the measurements described above were performed, allows for up to 380 plutonium equivalent grams total, thus allowing handling of several e.g. U-20Pu-10Zr transmutation fuel slugs. The Advanced Post- Irradiation Examination (APIE) package provides fuel characterization advancing development of synthesis routes as well as pre- and post- irradiation examination to unprecedented levels of detail.