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Spent nuclear fuel/water interface behavior: Alpha dose rate profile determination for model surfaces and microcracks by using Monte-Carlo methods

Abstract : This work aims to better understand the nature and evolution of energy deposits at the UO2/water reactional interface subjected to alpha irradiation, through an original approach based on Monte-Carlo-type simulations, using the MCNPX code. Such an approach has the advantage of describing the energy deposit profiles on both sides of the interface (UO2 and water). The calculations have been performed on simple geometries, with data from an irradiated UOX fuel (burnup of 47 GWd.tHM−1 and 15 years of alpha decay). The influence of geometric parameters such as the diameter and the calculation steps at the reactional interface are discussed, and the exponential laws to be used in practice are suggested. The case of cracks with various different apertures (from 5 to 35 μm) has also been examined and these calculations have also enabled new information on the mean range of radiolytic species in cracks, and thus on the local chemistry.
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M. Tribet, S. Mougnaud, C. Jegou. Spent nuclear fuel/water interface behavior: Alpha dose rate profile determination for model surfaces and microcracks by using Monte-Carlo methods. Journal of Nuclear Materials, Elsevier, 2017, 488, pp.245-251. ⟨10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.03.027⟩. ⟨cea-02421897⟩

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