In-pile Xe diffusion coefficient in UO2 determined from the modeling of intragranular bubble growth and destruction under irradiation

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Intragranular bubbles grow in the nuclear fuel by diffusion and precipitation of fission gases, mainly xenon; and are ultimately destroyed, under irradiation, by fission fragments. This article will attempt to determine the in-pile bubble distributions taking into account the evolution of the concentration profile around a bubble during its growth and the destruction process by fission fragments. From these distributions a relation between the bubble mean radius and the diffusion coefficient of xenon can be established, allowing the determination, from experimental measurements of intragranular bubble sizes, of the in-pile Xe diffusion coefficient in UO2. The estimated activation energy (0.9 eV) is about one order of magnitude lower than the widely used value of 3.9 eV determined from out-of-pile experiments. This effect can be attributed to the presence of point defects created by the irradiation.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-472
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2008


  • uranium dioxide xenon UO2 Xe diffusion coefficient in pile defects

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