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  1. Here, U 3Si 2, an advanced fuel form proposed for light water reactors (LWR), has excellent thermal conductivity and a higher fissile element density. However, limited understanding of the radiation performance and fission gas behavior of U 3Si 2 is available at LWR conditions. This study explores the irradiation behavior of U 3Si 2 by 300 KeV Xe + ion beam bombardment combining with in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observation. The crystal structure of U 3Si 2 is stable against radiation-induced amorphization at 350 °C even up to a very high dose of 64 displacements per atom (dpa). Grain subdivisionmore » of U 3Si 2 occurs at a relatively low dose of 0.8 dpa and continues to above 48 dpa, leading to the formation of high-density nanoparticles. Nano-sized Xe gas bubbles prevail at a dose of 24 dpa, and Xe bubble coalescence was identified with an increase of irradiation dose. The volumetric swelling resulting from Xe gas bubble formation and coalescence was estimated with respect to radiation dose, and a 2.2% volumetric swelling was observed for U 3Si 2 irradiated at 64 dpa considering fission gas only. Due to extremely high susceptibility to oxidation, the nano-sized U 3Si 2 grains upon radiationinduced grain subdivision were oxidized to nanocrystalline UO 2 in a high vacuum chamber for TEM observation, eventually leading to the formation of UO 2 nanocrystallites up to 80 dpa.« less

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