The effect of fission-energy Xe ion irradiation on the structural integrity and dissolution of the CeO$_2$ matrix
© 2016 The Authors.This work considers the effect of fission fragment damage on the structural integrity and dissolution of the CeO₂ matrix in water, as a simulant for the UO₂ matrix of spent nuclear fuel. For this purpose, thin films of CeO₂ on Si substrates were produced and irradiated by 92 MeV 129Xe23+ ions to a fluence of 4.8 × 1015 ions/cm2 to simulate fission damage that occurs within nuclear fuels along with bulk CeO₂ samples. The irradiated and unirradiated samples were characterised and a static batch dissolution experiment was conducted to study the effect of the induced irradiation damage on dissolution of the CeO₂ matrix. Complex restructuring took place in the irradiated films and the irradiated samples showed an increase in the amount of dissolved cerium, as compared to the corresponding unirradiated samples. Secondary phases were also observed on the surface of the irradiated CeO₂ films after the dissolution experiment.
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/I036400/1)