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The Oxide Dispersion Strengthened (ODS) materials are potential candidates as cladding tubes for Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors. The nano-oxides are finely dispersed within the grains and confer excellent mechanical properties to these alloys. Hence, assessing nano-particle stability under irradiation remains crucial to guarantee safe use of these materials. Although neutron irradiation remains a binding and challenging experimental study to conduct, difficulties can be overcome by ion beam processing. Ion beam processing of the ODS material allows to identify the radiation-induced Ostwald ripening as the mechanism governing the nano-particle response under irradiation. The result is the increase in size and a decrease in density of the finely dispersed Y2Ti2O7 nano-particles. Under neutron irradiation, radiation-induced Ostwald ripening appears to be less effective since a slight growth of nano-particles is observed. Further, our approach shows that nanoparticle growth kinetics should scale as φ1/3, φ being the radiation flux. This suggests that the low irradiation flux is at the origin of the slower growth kinetics of the neutron irradiated particles. Both neutron and ion irradiation induce a modification of the nanoparticles/matrix interfaces which are generally flat and sharp prior to irradiation and present steps after irradiation. This could alter the nano-particle coarsening during irradiation.
JANNUS (Joint Accelerators for Nanosciences and Nuclear Simulation), the unique triple beam facility in Europe, offers the possibility to produce three ion beams simultaneously for nuclear recoil damage and implantation of a large array of ions for well-controlled modeling-oriented experiments. The first triple beam irradiation was performed in March 2010. Along with irradiation developments, continuous efforts have been made to implement ex situ and in situ characterization tools. In this study, we set out the present status of the JANNUS facility of the Saclay site. We focus on the instrumentation used for conducting multi-ion beam irradiations and implantations as well as for characterizing bombarded samples. On-line control of irradiation parameters, in situ modification monitoring using Raman spectroscopy or ion beam induced luminescence, and ex situ characterization by ion beam surface analysis [Rutherford backscattering spectrometry (RBS), nuclear reaction analysis (NRA), and elastic recoil detection analysis (ERDA)] of implanted samples are detailed. Some examples of single, dual, and triple beam irradiation configurations are presented. Access to the facility is provided by the French network EMIR for national and international users (http://emir.in2p3.fr/).
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