Temperature Effects on Interdiffusion of Al and U-Mo under Irradiation

Bei Ye, Y. Miao, J. Shi, Daniele Salvato, K. Mo, L. Jamison, Aurélien Bergeron, Gerard L. Hofmann, Ann Leenaers, A. Oaks, A.M. Yacout, Sven Van den Berghe, W. Petry, Yeon Soo Kim

Research outputpeer-review


A high-energy Xe ion irradiation experiment was conducted to investigate the temperature dependence of interdiffusion in bilayer Al-UMo samples under irradiation. The amount of interdiffusion achieved at a fixed dose with the increase of temperature showed a clear transition at 175°C (with an estimated error in the range of ±10°C) from temperature-independent to temperature-dependent behavior. The activation energy derived from the curve of interdiffusion quantity vs. irradiation temperature is 0.77±0.16 eV. This information has been utilized to understand the temperature effect on the interdiffusion process that occurred at the interfaces of U-Mo particles and the Al matrix in U-Mo/Al dispersion fuels, whose magnitude significantly impacts the fuel's performance. Although this temperature effect was deemed important, it cannot be examined directly using in-pile irradiation data, as fuel temperatures cannot be measured in reactor irradiation and are highly correlated with fission rate and thermal conductivity evolution. To connect the knowledge accumulated from ion irradiation with in-pile irradiation data, simulation of a full-sized U-Mo/Al dispersion fuel plate irradiated in the FUTURE test in the BR2 reactor was performed with the Dispersion Analysis Research Tool (DART), a dispersion fuel performance code. DART is equipped with an interaction or interdiffusion layer (IL) growth correlation formulated to describe the temperature dependence of ion mixing results. The agreement between calculated and measured fuel meat constituent volume fractions and swelling data demonstrated that the temperature effect on in-pile Al-UMo interdiffusion is well captured with the correlation. In this case, the fitted activation energy is 0.70 eV. Considering the uncertainties associated with the ion irradiation data, the activation energy obtained from in-pile data fitting is in accord with that from ion irradiation results.
Original languageEnglish
Article number152684
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2021

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