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Title: High-energy radiation damage in zirconia: modeling results

Zirconia has been viewed as a material of exceptional resistance to amorphization by radiation damage, and was consequently proposed as a candidate to immobilize nuclear waste and serve as a nuclear fuel matrix. Here, we perform molecular dynamics simulations of radiation damage in zirconia in the range of 0.1-0.5 MeV energies with the account of electronic energy losses. We find that the lack of amorphizability co-exists with a large number of point defects and their clusters. These, importantly, are largely disjoint from each other and therefore represent a dilute damage that does not result in the loss of long-range structural coherence and amorphization. We document the nature of these defects in detail, including their sizes, distribution and morphology, and discuss practical implications of using zirconia in intense radiation environments.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
47464; KC0201020
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics, 115(8):083507
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory