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Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms 277 (2011) 98-108
Nucleation and growth of intragranular defect and insoluble atom clusters in nuclear oxide fuels
P. Garcia1, G. Martin1, C. Sabathier1, G. Carlot1, A. Michel1, P. Martin1, B. Dorado, M. Freyss1, M. Bertolus1, R. Skorek1, J. Noirot1, L. Noirot1, O. Kaitasov2, S. Maillard1

Uranium and plutonium oxides are subjected to high levels of radiation damage due to the slowing of fission fragments. In addition the composition of the material evolves over time as a result of fission events. Rare gases which constitute an abundant class of fission products are particularly insoluble and therefore tend either to be released from the fuel or form small nanometre size clusters. Bubbles are liable to grow and become trapping sites for migrating defects or other insoluble atoms. Interactions between migrating atoms, defects and existing clusters will determine the rate and extent to which clusters grow. Because the transfer of gas from within the grain to the grain boundaries is thought of as being the rate limiting process for fission gas release, a review of phenomena occurring on the sub-grain scale is carried out. The microstructural modifications induced by neutron irradiations of UO2 fuels are discussed with an emphasis on their relation to fission gas release. Based mainly on TEM studies, the phenomena which are usually taken into account in fission gas behaviour models are looked at and the limitations of these models outlined. More recent experimental and modelling approaches involving ion-irradiation experiments and atomic scale modelling are presented. It is shown that combining these approaches may lead, despite the complexity inherent to the system, to a better understanding of basic radiation induced microstructural changes, clustering events, and rare gas behaviour.
1 :  DEC - Département d'Etudes des Combustibles
2 :  CSNSM - Centre de Spectrométrie Nucléaire et de Spectrométrie de Masse
Physique/Matière Condensée/Science des matériaux

Sciences de l'ingénieur/Matériaux
TEM – irradiation – UO2 – defects – precipitation – clustering – atomic scale modelling