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In-situ TEM observation of nano-void formation in UO2 under irradiation

C. Sabathier 1 G. Martin 1 A. Michel 1 G. Carlot 1 S. Maillard 1 C. Bachelet 2 F. Fortuna 3 O. Kaitasov 4 E. Oliviero 4 P. Garcia 1
CSNSM - Centre de Sciences Nucléaires et de Sciences de la Matière
CSNSM - Centre de Spectrométrie Nucléaire et de Spectrométrie de Masse, CSNSM - Centre de Sciences Nucléaires et de Sciences de la Matière
Abstract : Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observations of UO2 polycrystals irradiated in situ with 4 MeV Au ions were performed at room temperature (RT) to better understand the mechanisms of cavity and ultimately fission products nucleation in UO2. Experiments were carried out at the JANNuS Orsay facility that enables in situ ion irradiations inside the microscope to be carried out. The majority of 4 MeV gold ions were transmitted through the thin foil, and the induced radiation defects were investigated by TEM. Observations showed that nano-void formation occurs at ambient temperature in UO2 thin foils irradiated with energetic heavy ions under an essentially nuclear energy loss regime. The diameter and density of nano-objects were measured as a function of the gold irradiation dose at RT. A previous paper has also revealed a similar nano-object population after a Xe implantation performed at 390 keV at 870 K. The nano-object density was modelled using simple concepts derived from Classical Molecular Dynamics simulations. The results are in good agreement, which suggests a mechanism of heterogeneous nucleation induced by energetic cascade overlaps. This indicates that nano-void formation mechanism is controlled by radiation damage. Such nanovoids are likely to act as sinks for mobile fission products during reactor operation.
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Submitted on : Friday, August 22, 2014 - 3:30:22 PM
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C. Sabathier, G. Martin, A. Michel, G. Carlot, S. Maillard, et al.. In-situ TEM observation of nano-void formation in UO2 under irradiation. 17th International Conference on Radiation Effects in Insulators (REI), Jun 2013, Helsinki, Finland. pp.247-250, ⟨10.1016/j.nimb.2013.10.055⟩. ⟨in2p3-01057436⟩



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