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    STP1597

    Microstructure Evolution in Ion-Irradiated Oxidized Zircaloy-4 Studied with Synchrotron Radiation Microdiffraction and Transmission Electron Microscopy

    Published: 2018


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    Abstract

    The corrosion process (oxidation and hydriding) of zirconium alloy fuel cladding is one of the limiting factors on fuel rod lifetime, particularly for Zircaloy-4. The corrosion rate of this alloy shows indeed a great acceleration at high burnup in light water reactors (LWRs). Understanding the corrosion behavior under irradiation for this alloy is an important technological issue for the safety and efficiency of LWRs. In particular, understanding the effect of irradiation on the metal and oxide layers is a key parameter in the study of corrosion behavior of zirconium alloys. In this study, Zircaloy-4 samples underwent helium and proton ion irradiation up to 0.3 dpa, forming a uniform defect distribution up to 1 μm deep. Both as-received and precorroded samples were irradiated to compare the effect of metal irradiation to that of oxide layer irradiation. After irradiation, samples were corroded to study the impact of irradiation defects in the metal and in preexisting oxide layers on the formation of new oxide layers. Synchrotron X-ray microdiffraction and microfluorescence were used to follow the evolution of oxide crystallographic phases, texture, and stoichiometry both in the metal and in the oxide. In particular, the tetragonal oxide phase fraction, which has been known to play an important role in corrosion behavior, was mapped in both unirradiated and irradiated metals at the submicron scale and appeared to be significantly affected by irradiation. These observations, complemented with electron microscopy analyses on samples in carefully chosen areas of interest, were combined to fully characterize changes caused by irradiation in metal and oxide phases of both alloys.

    Keywords:

    zirconium oxide, synchrotron diffraction, ion irradiation


    Author Information:

    Colas, Kimberly
    CEA-Universite Paris-Saclay, Service d’Etudes des Matériaux Irradiés, CEA-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette,

    Verlet, Romain
    CEA-Universite Paris-Saclay, Service d’Etudes des Matériaux Irradiés, CEA-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette,

    Tupin, Marc
    CEA-Universite Paris-Saclay, Service d’Etudes des Matériaux Irradiés, CEA-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette,

    Cai, Zhonghou
    Advanced Photon Source, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL

    Wolski, Krzysztof
    Ecole des Mines de Saint Etienne, Centre SMS, Saint Etienne,

    Jublot, Michael
    CEA-Universite Paris-Saclay, Service d’Etudes des Matériaux Irradiés, CEA-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette,

    Bossis, Philippe
    CEA-Universite Paris-Saclay, Département des Matériaux pour le Nucléaire, CEA-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette,


    Committee/Subcommittee: B10.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP159720160115