Studies of electrochemical oxidation of Zircaloy nuclear reactor fuel cladding using time-of-flight-energy elastic recoil detection analysis.

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Studies of electrochemical oxidation of Zircaloy nuclear reactor fuel cladding using time-of-flight-energy elastic recoil detection analysis.

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Publication Article, peer reviewed scientific
Title Studies of electrochemical oxidation of Zircaloy nuclear reactor fuel cladding using time-of-flight-energy elastic recoil detection analysis.
Author(s) Whitlow, Harry J ; Wikmark, G ; Limbäck, M ; Ahlberg, E ; Simic, N ; Winzell, T ; Wang, Y ; Zhang, Y
Date 2000
English abstract
The trend towards increased fuel burn-up and higher operating temperatures in order to achieve more economic operation of nuclear power plants places demands on a better understanding of oxidative corrosion of Zircaloy (Zry) fuel rod cladding. As part of a programme to study these processes we have applied time-of-flight-energy elastic recoil detection (ToF-E ERD), electrochemical impedance measurements and scanning electron microscopy to quantitatively characterise thin-oxide films corresponding to the pre-transition oxidation regime. Oxide films of different nominal thickness in the 9-300 nm range were grown on a series of rolled Zr and Zry-2 plates by anodisation in dilute H2SO4 with applied voltages. The dielectric thickness of the oxide layer was determined from the electrochemical impedance measurements and the surface topography characterised by scanning electron microscopy. ToF-E ERD with a 60 MeV 127I11+ ion beam was used to determine the oxygen content and chemical composition of the oxide layer. In the Zr samples, the oxygen content (O atom cm-2) that was determined by ERD was closely similar to the O content derived from impedance measurements from the dielectric film. The absolute agreement was well within the uncertainty associated with the stopping powers. Moreover, the measured composition of the thick oxide layers corresponded to ZrO2 for the films thicker than 65 nm where the oxide layer was resolved in the ERD depth profile. Zry-2 samples exhibited a similar behaviour for small thickness (130 nm) but had an enhanced O content at larger thicknesses that could be associated either with enhanced rough surface topography or porous oxide formation that was correlated with the presence of Second Phase Particles (SPP) in Zry-2. The concentration of SPP elements (Fe, Cr, Ni) in relation to Zr was the same in the outer 9x10(17) atom cm-2 of oxide as in the same thickness of metal. The results also revealed the presence of about 1 at.% 32S in the oxides on the Zr and Zry-2 samples which presumably originates from the electrolyte.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0168-583X(99)00956-8 (link to publisher's fulltext)
Host/Issue Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms
Volume 161-163
ISSN 0168-583X
Pages 584-589
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Zr
Electrochemical impedance
Second phase particles
Time-of-flight
Elastic recoil detection analysis
Anodisation
Oxidation
Zircaloy
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/567 (link to this page)
Link http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0168-583X(99)00956-8 (external link to related web page)

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