Proton irradiation-induced cracking and microstructural defects in UN and (U,Zr)N composite fuels
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2024

Proton irradiation with a primary ion energy of 2 MeV was used to simulate radiation damage in UN and (U,Zr)N fuel pellets. The pellets, nominally at room temperature, were irradiated to peak levels of 0.1, 1, 10 dpa and 100 dpa resulting in a peak hydrogen concentration of at most 1 at. %. Microstructure and mechanical properties of the samples were investigated and compared before and after irradiation. The irradiation induced an increase in hardness, whereas a decrease in Young's modulus was observed for both samples. Microstructural characterization revealed irradiation-induced cracking, initiated in the bulk of the material, where the peak damage was deposited, propagating towards the surface. Additionally, transmission electron microscopy was used to study irradiation defects. Dislocation loops and fringes were identified and observed to increase in density with increasing dose levels. The high density of irradiation defects is proposed as the main cause of swelling and consequent sample cracking, leading simultaneously to increased hardening and a decrease in Young's modulus.

Composite nuclear fuels

Irradiation induced cracking

Spark plasma sintering

Proton irradiation

Uranium nitride

Simulated burn-up structure


Elina Charatsidou

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Maria Giamouridou

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Andrea Fazi

Chalmers, Fysik, Mikrostrukturfysik

Gyula Nagy

Uppsala universitet

Diogo Ribeiro Costa

Westinghouse Electric Company

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Sarmad Naim Katea

Uppsala universitet


Mikael Jolkkonen

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Gunnar Westin

Uppsala universitet

Mattias Thuvander

Chalmers, Fysik, Mikrostrukturfysik

Daniel Priemetzhofer

Uppsala universitet

P. Olsson

Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH)

Journal of Materiomics

23528478 (ISSN) 23528486 (eISSN)

Vol. 10 4 906-918


Metallurgi och metalliska material



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