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Influence of the Oxygen content on the thermal migration of Xenon in ZrCxO1−x

Abstract : Zirconium carbide (ZrC) is a refractory ceramic presenting interesting properties such as a high melting point, a very high hardness and a good thermal stability. For these reasons, this material is considered as a candidate for fuel coating for fourth-generation reactors in particular for the Gas cooled Fast Reactors (GFR). The ceramic temperature could reach 1200 °C in normal reactor operation and reach 1700 °C in accidental conditions. It is therefore important to assess the ZrC thermal retention capacity regarding abundant and/or volatile fission products. This paper deals with the behavior of Xenon which is the major gaseous fission product created during fission. Previous studies have shown that Xenon remained motionless in an "Oxygen-poor" matrix such as ZrC0.95O0.05, up to temperatures of 1800 °C. However, Zirconium oxycarbides are known to be very sensitive to oxidation. This study aims therefore at studying the behavior of Xenon in Zirconium oxycarbide samples with different Oxygen contents. Xenon is introduced by ion implantation and the samples are annealed in secondary vacuum in the temperature range 1400 °C-1800 °C. The Oxygen profiles are determined by using the 16O(4He, 4He)16O nuclear reaction at 7.5 MeV and the concentration profiles of Xenon are measured by Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry at each step of the treatment. The results show that the behavior of the material during annealing with respect to oxidation is strongly related to its initial Oxygen content. More generally, the higher the initial Oxygen content, the more important is the oxidation. Consequently, the Xenon migration is enhanced in Oxygen rich Zirconium carbides.
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Contributor : Dominique Girod <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 11:21:25 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - 11:28:11 AM

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Y. Pipon, N. Toulhoat, N. Moncoffre, G. Gutierrez, Alexandre Maitre, et al.. Influence of the Oxygen content on the thermal migration of Xenon in ZrCxO1−x. NuMat 2012: The Nuclear Materials Conference, Oct 2012, Osaka, Japan. pp.546-552, ⟨10.1016/j.jnucmat.2013.03.015⟩. ⟨in2p3-00861209⟩

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