Simulation of radiation driven fission gas diffusion in UO2, ThO2 and PuO2

MWD Cooper and CR Stanek and JA Turnbull and BP Uberuaga and DA Andersson, JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS, 481, 125-133 (2016).

DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2016.09.013

Below 1000 K it is thought that fission gas diffusion in nuclear fuel during irradiation occurs through atomic mixing due to radiation damage. Here we present a molecular dynamics (MD) study of Xe, Kr, Th, U, Pu and O diffusion due to irradiation. It is concluded that the ballistic phase does not sufficiently account for the experimentally observed diffusion. Thermal spike simulations are used to confirm that electronic stopping remedies the discrepancy with experiment and the predicted diffusivities lie within the scatter of the experimental data. Our results predict that the diffusion coefficients are ordered such that D-O* > D-Kr* > D-Xe* > D-U*. For all species >98.5% of diffusivity is accounted for by electronic stopping. Fission gas diffusivity was not predicted to vary significantly between ThO2, UO2 and PuO2, indicating that this process would not change greatly for mixed oxide fuels. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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