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A complementary approach to estimate the internal pressure of fission gas bubbles by SEM-SIMS-EPMA in irradiated nuclear fuels

Abstract : The behaviour of gases produced by fission is of great importance for nuclear fuel in operation. Within this context, a decade ago, a general method for the characterisation of the fission gas including gas bubbles in an irradiated UO$_2$ nuclear fuel was developed and applied to determine the bubbles internal pressure. The method consists in the determination of the pressure, over a large population of bubbles, using three techniques: SEM, EPMA and SIMS. In this paper, a complementary approach using the information given by the same techniques is performed on an isolated bubble under the surface and is aiming for a better accuracy compared to the more general measurement of gas content. SEM and EPMA enable the detection of a bubble filled with xenon under the surface. SIMS enables the detection of the gas filling the bubble. The quantification is achieved using the EPMA data as reference at positions where no or nearly no bubbles are detected.
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C. Cagna, I. Zacharie-Aubrun, P. Bienvenu, L. Barrallier, B. Michel, et al.. A complementary approach to estimate the internal pressure of fission gas bubbles by SEM-SIMS-EPMA in irradiated nuclear fuels. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, IOP Publishing, 2016, 109, pp.012002. ⟨10.1088/1757-899X/109/1/012002⟩. ⟨cea-02432835⟩

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