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  1. Rate theory simulations of fission gas behavior in U 3Si 2 are reported for light water reactor (LWR) steady-state operation scenarios. We developed a model of U 3Si 2 and implemented into the GRASS-SST code based on available research reactor post-irradiation examination (PIE) data, and density functional theory (DFT) calculations of key material properties. Simplified peripheral models were also introduced to capture the fuel-cladding interaction. The simulations identified three regimes of U 3Si 2 swelling behavior between 390 K and 1190 K. Under typical steady-state LWR operating conditions where U 3Si 2 temperature is expected to be below 1000 K,more » intragranular bubbles are dominant and fission gas is retained in those bubbles. The consequent gaseous swelling is low and associated degradation in the fuel thermal conductivity is also limited. Those predictions of U 3Si 2 performance during steady-state operations in LWRs suggest that this fuel material is an appropriate LWR candidate fuel material. Fission gas behavior models established based on this work are being coupled to the thermo-mechanical simulation of the fuel behavior using the BISON fuel performance multi-dimensional finite element code.« less
  2. U-Mo alloys irradiated with 84 MeV Xe ions to various doses were characterized with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) techniques. The TEM thin foils were prepared perpendicular to the irradiated surface to allow a direct observation of the entire region modified by ions. Furthermore, depth-selective microstructural information was revealed. Varied irradiation-induced phenomena such as gas bubble formation, phase reversal, and recrystallization were observed at different ion penetration depths in U-Mo.
  3. We report synchrotron scattering analysis results on U-7wt%Mo fuel samples irradiated in the Advanced Test Reactor to three different burnup levels. Mature fission gas bubble superlattice was observed to form at intermediate burnup. The superlattice constant was determined to be 11.7 nm and 12.1 nm by wide-angle and small-angle scattering respectively. Grain sub-division takes place throughout the irradiation and causes the collapse of the superlattice at high burnup. The bubble superlattice expands the lattice constant and acts as strong sinks of radiation induced defects. The evolution of dislocation loops was therefore suppressed until the bubble superlattice collapses.
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