"Bubble evolution in Kr-irradiated UO2 during annealing"
Lingfeng He, Xianming Bai, Janne Pakarinen, Brian Jaques, Jian Gan, Andrew Nelson, Anter EL-AZAB, Todd Allen,
Journal of Nuclear Materials
Transmission electron microscopy observation of Kr bubble evolution in polycrystalline UO2 annealed at high temperature was conducted in order to understand the inert gas behavior in oxide nuclear fuel. The average diameter of intragranular bubbles increased gradually from 0.8 nm in as-irradiated sample at room temperature to 2.6 nm at 1600 °C and the bubble size distribution changed from a uniform distribution to a bimodal distribution above 1300 °C. The size of intergranular bubbles increased more rapidly than intragranular ones and bubble denuded zones near grain boundaries formed in all the annealed samples. It was found that high-angle grain boundaries held bigger bubbles than low-angle grain boundaries. Complementary atomistic modeling was conducted to interpret the effects of grain boundary character on the Kr segregation. The area density of strong segregation sites in the high-angle grain boundaries is much higher than that in the low angle grain boundaries.
"Effect of Grain Boundaries on Krypton Segregation Behavior in Irradiated Uranium Dioxide"
Todd Allen, Darryl Butt, Jian Gan, Lingfeng He, Hunter Henderson, Brian Jaques, Michele Manuel, Janne Pakarinen, Billy Valderrama,
Journal of Metals
Fission products, such as krypton (Kr), are known to be insoluble within UO2, segregating toward grain boundaries and eventually leading to a lowering in thermal conductivity and fuel swelling. Recent computational studies have identi?ed that differences in grain boundary structure have a signi?cant effect on the segregation behavior of fission products. However, experimental work supporting these simulations is lacking. Atom probe tomography was used to measure the Kr distribution across grain boundaries in UO2. Polycrystalline depleted UO2 samples were irradiated with 0.7 MeV and 1.8 MeV Kr-ions and annealed to 1000C, 1300C, and 1600C for 1 h to produce a Kr-bubble dominated microstructure. The results of this work indicate a strong dependence of Kr concentration as a function of grain boundary structure. Temperature also influences grain boundary chemistry with greater Kr concentration evident at higher temperatures, resulting in a reduced Kr concentration in the bulk. Although Kr segregation takes place at elevated temperatures, no change in grain size or texture was observed in the irradiated UO2 samples.
"Mechanical behavior of AISI 304SS determined by miniature test methods after neutron irradiation to 28 dpa"
Ellen Rabenberg, Brian Jaques, Bulent Sencer, Frank Garner, Paula Freyer, T. Okita, Darryl Butt,
Journal of Nuclear Materials
The mechanical properties of AISI 304 stainless steel irradiated for over a decade in the Experimental Breeder Reactor (EBR-II) were measured using miniature mechanical testing methods. The shear punch method was used to evaluate the shear strengths of the neutron-irradiated steel and a correlation factor was empirically determined to predict its tensile strength. The strength of the stainless steel slightly decreased with increasing irradiation temperature, and significantly increased with increasing dose until it saturated above approximately 5 dpa. An effective tensile strain hardening exponent was also obtained from the data which shows a relative decrease in ductility of steel with increased irradiation damage. Ferromagnetic measurements were used to observe and deduce the effects of the stress-induced austenite to martensite transformation as a result of shear punch testing.
"Subsurface imaging of grain microstructure using picosecond ultrasonics"
Darryl Butt, Hunter Henderson, David Hurley, Brian Jaques, Marat Khafizov, Andrew Nelson, Janne Pakarinen, Michele Manuel, Lingfeng He,
We report on imaging subsurface grain microstructure using picosecond ultrasonics. This approach relies on elastic anisotropy of crystalline materials where ultrasonic velocity depends on propagation direction relative to the crystal axes. Picosecond duration ultrasonic pulses are generated and detected using ultrashort light pulses. In materials that are transparent or semitransparent to the probe wavelength, the probe monitors gigahertz frequency Brillouin oscillations. The frequency of these oscillations is related to the ultrasonic velocity and the optical index of refraction. Ultrasonic waves propagating across a grain boundary experience a change in velocity due to a change in crystallographic orientation relative to the ultrasonic propagation direction. This change in velocity is manifested as a change in the Brillouin oscillation frequency. Using the ultrasonic propagation velocity, the depth of the interface can be determined from the location in time of the transition in oscillation frequency. A subsurface image of the grain boundary is obtained by scanning the beam along the surface. We demonstrate this subsurface imaging capability using a polycrystalline UO2 sample. Cross section liftout analysis of the grain boundary using electron microscopy was used to verify our imaging results.