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Journal of Nuclear Materials 425 (2012) 76-82
Experimental study of the nucleation and growth of c-component loops under charged particle irradiations of recrystallized Zircaloy-4
L. Tournadre1, F. Onimus1, J. L. Béchade1, D. Gilbon1, J. M. Cloué, J. -P. Mardon, X. Feaugas2, O. Toader, C. Bachelet3
(2012)

Recrystallized zirconium alloys, used as structural materials for the Pressurized Water Reactor fuel assembly, undergo under neutron irradiation induced stress free growth which accelerates for high irradiation doses. This acceleration is correlated with the formation of c-component vacancy dislocation loops in the basal plane. Since these defects are responsible for breakaway growth of recrystallized zirconium alloys, it is of prime importance to know the various factors that can affect their nucleation and growth. In the present work, two types of charged particle irradiations were conducted on recrystallized Zircaloy-4 samples in order to study c-component loops. A 2 MeV proton irradiation was performed up to a dose of 11.5 dpa at 623 K, and 600 key Zr ion irradiations were carried out at 573 K up to 7 dpa. For the first time after those charged particle irradiations, c-component loops were observed by Transmission Electron Microscopy. It has been shown that under Zr ion irradiation they start to nucleate and grow beyond a threshold dose as for neutron irradiation. The differences in the c-component loop microstructure are discussed for both ion irradiations and compared to the microstructure observed after neutron irradiation. Furthermore, it is shown that after proton irradiation the irradiated layer exhibits a misfit strain which is consistent with the irradiation induced growth of recrystallized zirconium alloys. (c) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
1 :  CEA-DEN - CEA-Direction de l'Energie Nucléaire
2 :  LEMMA - Laboratoire d'Etude des Matériaux par Microscopie Avancée
3 :  CSNSM - Centre de Spectrométrie Nucléaire et de Spectrométrie de Masse
CSNSM SEM
Physique/Matière Condensée/Science des matériaux
DISLOCATION LOOPS – ZIRCONIUM ALLOYS – ALPHA-ZIRCONIUM – MICROSTRUCTURE EVOLUTION – DISPLACEMENT CASCADES – ELECTRON-IRRADIATION – DOSE-RATE – NEUTRON – ZR – DEPENDENCE