A contribution to the understanding of the High Burn-up Structure formation in nuclear fuels

Abstract : An increase of the discharge burn-up of UO2 nuclear fuels in the light water reactors results in the appearance of a change of microscopic structure, called HBS. Although well characterised experimentally, important points on the mechanisms of its formation remain to be cleared up. In order to answer these questions, a study of the contribution of the dislocation-type defects was conducted. In a first part, a calculation method of the stress field associated with periodic configurations of dislocations was developed. The method was applied to the cases of edge dislocation pile-up and wall, for which an explicit expression of the internal stress potential was obtained. Through the study of other examples of dislocation configurations, it was highlighted that this method also allows the calculation of any periodic dislocation configuration. In a second part, the evolution of interstitial-type dislocation loops was studied in UO2 fuel samples doped with 10% in mass of alpha emitters. The experimental loop size distributions were obtained for these samples stored during 4 and 7 years at room temperature. Kinetic equations are proposed in order to study the influence of the re-solution process of interstitials from a loop back to the matrix due to an impact with the recoil atom 234U, as well as the coalescence of two interstitial loops that can diffuse by a volume mechanism. The application of the model shows that the two processes must be considered in the study of the evolution of radiation damage.
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Jérôme Jonnet. A contribution to the understanding of the High Burn-up Structure formation in nuclear fuels. Other. Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine, 2007. English. ⟨NNT : 2007INPL002N⟩. ⟨tel-01752889⟩

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