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Ion implantation experiments with energetic Xe-ions were performed in order to understand the possible mechanisms leading to the formation of an outer shell of small grains and large porosity in high burnup UO(2) (the so-called rim effect). It is shown that grain subdivision, related to the formation of highly pressurised (probably solid) Xe-precipitates, occurs at implantation doses corresponding to fission product concentrations reached at 7 to 8 at% burnup. Fracture or cleavage of UO(2) grains lead to a structure of small grains similar in size to those observed in irradiated high burnup UO(2). The limitations of such simulation experiments are discussed and the parameters are defined for conclusive reactor irradiation experiments.

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Authors: MATZKE H-J, JRC Karlsruhe (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Journal of Nuclear Materials (1992) No. 189, pp. 141-148
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