Bubble evolution in Kr-irradiated UO2 during annealing

L He and XM Bai and J Pakarinen and BJ Jaques and J Gan and AT Nelson and A El-Azab and TR Allen, JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS, 496, 242-250 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.09.036

Transmission electron microscopy observation of Kr bubble evolution in polycrystalline UO2 annealed at high temperature was conducted in order to understand the inert gas behavior in oxide nuclear fuel. The average diameter of intragranular bubbles increased gradually from 0.8 nm in as- irradiated sample at room temperature to 2.6 nm at 1600 degrees C and the bubble size distribution changed from a uniform distribution to a bimodal distribution above 1300 degrees C. The size of intergranular bubbles increased more rapidly than intragranular ones and bubble denuded zones near grain boundaries formed in all the annealed samples. It was found that high-angle grain boundaries held bigger bubbles than low-angle grain boundaries. Complementary atomistic modeling was conducted to interpret the effects of grain boundary character on the Kr segregation. The area density of strong segregation sites in the high- angle grain boundaries is much higher than that in the low angle grain boundaries. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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