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Title: Effect of point defects on the thermal conductivity of UO2: molecular dynamics simulations

The thermal conductivity of uranium dioxide (UO2) fuel is an important materials property that affects fuel performance since it is a key parameter determining the temperature distribution in the fuel, thus governing, e.g., dimensional changes due to thermal expansion, fission gas release rates, etc. [1] The thermal conductivity of UO2 nuclear fuel is also affected by fission gas, fission products, defects, and microstructural features such as grain boundaries. Here, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are carried out to determine quantitatively, the effect of irradiation induced point defects on the thermal conductivity of UO2, as a function of defect concentrations, for a range of temperatures, 300 – 1500 K. The results will be used to develop enhanced continuum thermal conductivity models for MARMOT and BISON by INL. These models express the thermal conductivity as a function of microstructure state-variables, thus enabling thermal conductivity models with closer connection to the physical state of the fuel [2].
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  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Materials Science(36)