U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Modeling the interfacial effects, partitioning, and production routes of epsilon particles in uranium oxide

Please join us on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, from Noon to 1:00 p.m. in the RPL Plutonium Room for a monthly Seminar Series featuring LDRD PI Richard Clark presenting on project Modeling the Interfacial Effects, Partitioning, and Production Routes of Epsilon Particles in Uranium Oxide.

Research Team: Richard Clark, Jon Schwantes, Edgar Buck, David Abrecht, Kristi Pellegrini, Sean Kessler

Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Dr. Richard A Clark
Scientist, Nuclear Process Signatures
The chemical fractionation of five-metal "epsilon phases" from nuclear fuel under irradiation is a process that is not well understood. The development of these phases within uranium oxide matrices over time in fuel under irradiation has been linked to many important phenomena over the life cycle of nuclear fuel, from in-reactor operations to long-term spent fuel disposition. It has been hypothesized that epsilon phase formation can affect fuel performance, control cladding erosion, and cause stress corrosion through both the physical disruption of the fuel matrix caused by their growth as well as the alteration of the electrochemical behavior of the fuel caused by their presence as a unique chemical species. The goal of this work is to elucidate the physical and chemical mechanisms that govern the formation of these metallic inclusions in irradiated fuel, in order to understand the radiological, physical, and chemical conditions leading to their formation and unique properties.
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