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Title: Development of a Scanning Microscale Fast Neutron Irradiation Platform for Examining the Correlation Between Local Neutron Damage and Graphite Microstructure

The fast particle radiation damage effect of graphite, a main material in current and future nuclear reactors, has significant influence on the utilization of this material in fission and fusion plants. Atoms on graphite crystals can be easily replaced or dislocated by fast protons and result in interstitials and vacancies. The currently accepted model indicates that after most of the interstitials recombine with vacancies, surviving interstitials form clusters and furthermore gather to create loops with each other between layers. Meanwhile, surviving vacancies and interstitials form dislocation loops on the layers. The growth of these inserted layers cause the dimensional increase, i.e. swelling, of graphite. Interstitial and vacancy dislocation loops have been reported and they can easily been observed by electron microscope. However, observation of the intermediate atom clusters becomes is paramount in helping prove this model. We utilize fast protons generated from the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) cyclotron to irradiate highly- oriented pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) as target for this research. Post-irradiation examination (PIE) of dosed targets with high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) has permit observation and analysis of clusters and dislocation loops to support the proposed theory. Another part of the research is to validate M.I. Heggie’s Ruckmore » and Tuck model, which introduced graphite layers may fold under fast particle irradiation. Again, we employed microscopy to image irradiated specimens to determine how the extent of Ruck and Tuck by calculating the number of folds as a function of dose. Our most significant accomplishment is the invention of a novel class of high-intensity pure beta-emitters for long-term lightweight batteries. We have filed four invention disclosure records based on the research conducted in this project. These batteries are lightweight because they consist of carbon and tritium and can be fabricated to conform to many geometric shapes. In addition, we have published eight peer-reviewed American Nuclear Society (ANS) transactions, and presented our findings at ANS National Meetings, and several universities.« less
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO (United States)
  2. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Battelle Energy Alliance, LLC, Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States