Calculation of threshold displacement energies in UO2

B Dacus and B Beeler and D Schwen, JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS, 520, 152-164 (2019).

DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2019.04.002

Despite the extensive utilization of uranium dioxide (UO2) as a fuel in commercial nuclear reactors, there is only minimal information regarding the fundamental nature of radiation damage at high temperatures, such as those experienced by the fuel under operation. In this work, molecular dynamics simulations have been performed to determine the threshold displacement energy (E-d) for oxygen and uranium in UO2 at 1500 K. Three definitions of displacement energy were employed to fully study the nature of low energy radiation damage: 1) the probability of having the primary knock-on atom (PKA) leave its original lattice site, 2) the probability that the PKA will permanently displace atoms from their original lattice site, and 3) the probability of forming a stable Frenkel pair. Additionally, four unique interatomic potentials were utilized to investigate uncertainties associated with potential choice in high temperature radiation damage studies in UO2. This work provides critical insight into the high temperature behavior of radiation damage in UO2, as well as the variation in behavior between oxygen and uranium PKAs. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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