2017 | AFC ACCOMPLISHMENTS 73 Sintering under hypostoichiometric conditions was observed to limit grain growth; this allows porosity to remain located on grain boundaries where their elimination is possible. Excessive grain growth as occurs at higher O/M instead was observed to trap porosity at grain boundary interiors, thus limiting ultimate attainable densities. Project Description: This project was divided into four parts: 1) examine the rate at which oxygen contaminates the high uranium density fuels in various processing environments, 2) inves- tigate different methodologies to incorporate high binders loadings to UO2 and develop methods to carefully debind the organic compo- nent from the green pellet without introducing cracking, 3) apply the debinding strategies to U3 Si2 and allow exposure of the powders to air prior to sintering, and 4) compare the thermophysical properties of processed under different sintering atmospheres to pellets fabricated using traditional routes. To understand the influence of oxygen adsorption in high density fuel forms, powder distributions typically used to sinter U3Si2 and UN were subjected to air and glove box environments and subsequently analyzed for oxygen impurities and phase formation as a function of time over a period of multiple months. Research on the high binder loaded systems initially focused on characterization a suite of prospective binders, which were down-selected for the UO2 study.The chosen binder formulation was systematically incor- porated to UO2 powders to under- stand how binder distributions could be controlled and carefully removed from the green compact using a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) under different sintering atmospheres without the concern of oxidation impacting the results.The debinding strategies under the various atmo- spheres were then applied to U3Si2 in a TGA and in a low oxygen content metal furnace with and without exposure to ambient air. Finally, the thermal diffusivity of U3Si2 was characterized on pellets sintered in H2 and vacuum environments. The findings of this study have provided new insights into avenues for large scale processing of U3Si2 and similar fuel materials to help enable commercialization of these ATF concepts. Accomplishments: High purity (