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Xenon migration in UO2 under irradiation studied by SIMS profilometry

Abstract : During Pressurized Water Reactor operation, around 25% of the created Fission Products (FP) are Xenon and Krypton. They have a low solubility in the nuclear fuel and can either (i) agglomerate into bubbles which induce mechanical stress in the fuel pellets or (ii) be released from the pellets, increasing the pressure within the cladding and decreasing the thermal conductivity of the gap between pellets and cladding. After fifty years of studies on the nuclear fuel, all mechanisms of Fission Gas Release (FGR) are still not fully understood. This paper aims at studying the FGR mechanisms by decoupling thermal and irradiation effects and by assessing the Xenon behavior for the first time by profilometry. Samples are first implanted with 136Xe at 800 keV corresponding to a projected range of 140 nm. They are then either annealed in the temperature range 1400-1600 °C, or irradiated with heavy energy ions (182 MeV Iodine) at Room Temperature (RT), 600 °C or 1000 °C. Depth profiles of implanted Xenon in UO2 are determined by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS). It is shown that Xenon is mobile during irradiation at 1000 °C. In contrast, thermal treatments do not induce any Xenon migration process: these results are correlated to the formation of Xenon bubbles observed by Transmission Electron Microscopy
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http://hal.in2p3.fr/in2p3-00861210
Contributor : Dominique Girod <>
Submitted on : Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 11:26:02 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 5:08:15 PM

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B. Marchand, N. Moncoffre, Y. Pipon, N. Bererd, C. Garnier, et al.. Xenon migration in UO2 under irradiation studied by SIMS profilometry. NuMat 2012: The Nuclear Materials Conference, Oct 2012, Osaka, Japan. pp.562-567, ⟨10.1016/j.jnucmat.2013.04.005⟩. ⟨in2p3-00861210⟩

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