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In situ Characterization of UO2 Microstructure Changes During an Annealing Test in an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope

  • Mathieu Marcet (a1), Yves Pontillon (a2), Lionel Desgranges (a3), David Simeone (a4), Isabelle Aubrun (a5), Isabelle Felines (a6) and Laurent Brunaud (a7)...

Abstract

A 1 μg High Burn Up Structure (HBS) fragment was extracted from a UO2 fuel pellet irradiated for 7 cycles in a EDF Pressurised Water Reactor (PWR). In situ examinations were performed with an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) in order to characterize UO2 microstructure evolution during a temperature ramp up to 1,600K. The results are compared to previously published data on HBS annealing tests performed in a Knudsen cell where observed burst releases are explained as sample cracking during the experimental sequence.

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