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HRTEM and chemical study of an ion-irradiated chromium/zircaloy-4 interface

Abstract : Chromium-coated zirconium alloys are being studied as Enhanced Accident Tolerant Fuel Cladding for Light Water Reactors (LWRs). Those materials are especially studied to improve the oxidation resistance of LWRs current fuel claddings in nominal and at High Temperature (HT) for hypothetical accidental conditions such as LOss of Coolant Accident. Beyond their HT behavior, it is essential to assess the materials behavior under irradiation. A first generation chromium/Zircaloy-4 interface was thus irradiated with 20 MeV Kr$^{8+}$ ions at 400°C up to 10 dpa. High-Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy and chemical analysis (EDS) were conducted at the Cr/Zr interface. The atomic structure of the interface reveals the presence of Zr(Fe, Cr)$_2$ Laves phase, displaying both C14 and C15 structure. After irradiation, only the C14 structure was observed and atomic row matching was preserved across the different interfaces , thus ensuring a good adhesion of the coating after irradiation.
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A. Wu, J. Ribis, J.-C. Brachet, E. Clouet, F. Leprêtre, et al.. HRTEM and chemical study of an ion-irradiated chromium/zircaloy-4 interface. Journal of Nuclear Materials, Elsevier, 2018, 504, pp.289-299. ⟨10.1016/j.jnucmat.2018.01.029⟩. ⟨cea-02428719⟩

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