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Étude des mécanismes de migration du césium dans le dioxyde d'uranium stoechiométrique et sur-stoechiométrique : influence du molybdène

Abstract : In the nuclear fuel UO2, which is widely used in Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR), Cs is a volatile element and is one of the most abundant fission product (FP). Furthermore, 137Cs is known to be highly radiotoxic. During a hypothetical accident, release of Cs would be particularly problematic for the environment. Hence, study of this element is of major concern for nuclear safety. To assess this issue, the French nuclear safety institute (IRSN) develops codes to predict FP release from nuclear fuel in normal and accidental conditions. This code requires fundamental data on FP behavior such as diffusion coefficient of these elements in UO2 as a function of temperature and atmosphere conditions (leading to UO2+x formation in oxidative conditions). The aim of this PhD, supported by the IRSN, is to study Cs migration in stoichiometric and hyper-stoichiometric uranium dioxide with and without the presence of Mo, in normal and accidental conditions of a PWR. This latter element is also an abundant FP, which is important to consider because it acts as an oxygen buffer in the fuel and may interact chemically with Cs. Such interactions may affect Cs behavior, hence its release from the fuel. Therefore, Cs-Mo interactions are considered in our study. The experimental procedure consists in simulating the Cs and/or Mo presence in UO2 and UO2+x pellets by ion implantation of stable isotopes 133Cs and/or 95Mo. Then, high temperature annealing (950 °C - 1600 °C) under controlled atmosphere or electronic excitations induced by irradiation coupled with temperature are performed to induce Cs and Mo migration. Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) is used to follow the concentration profile evolution of these elements, allowing extracting effective diffusion coefficients of Cs in UO2 and UO2+x as a function of irradiation or thermal treatment. Microstructure characterizations were made by Raman spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). We show that Cs is mobile in UO2 under reducing atmosphere, even though some of the Cs is trapped in Cs-bubbles located near the surface. We evidence that Mo presence prevents Cs to be mobile. The same tendency is observed in UO2+x under oxidizing atmosphere. Nevertheless, Cs immobilization mechanisms in presence of Mo vary upon redox conditions used during annealing. In reducing conditions, TEM experiments showed formation of Cs bubbles associated with Mo metallic precipitates in co-implanted samples. In oxidative conditions, absence of Cs mobility could be explained by Mo oxidation leading to possible Cs-Mo chemical interactions. For the first time, semi-empirical potentials were used to perform molecular dynamic (MD) calculations on Cs and Mo diffusion in UO2 and UO2+x. These simulations also allowed characterizing oxygen diffusion mechanisms in these matrixes in presence of Cs and Mo
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Clémentine Panetier. Étude des mécanismes de migration du césium dans le dioxyde d'uranium stoechiométrique et sur-stoechiométrique : influence du molybdène. Matériaux. Université de Lyon, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSE1248⟩. ⟨tel-02454477⟩

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