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Study and Characterization of a Graphite Deposition on Zirconium Alloy Plates and Sheathers

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Document pages: 9 pages

Abstract: The fuel assembly plays a leading role in the efficiency of the safety of the reactor. The fuel cladding constitutes the first barrier of confinement in this concept the phenomenon of cladding rupture by pellet-clad interaction (IPG) is due to the conjunction of the stresses induced by the expansion of the pellet and a chemical attack of the cladding. By iodine. This mechanism can induce the loss of integrity of the sheath one of the IPG remedies and which makes it possible to repel this rupture, is the introduction of a protective thin layer acting as a lubricant. This thin layer is in fact a deposit of a colloidal suspension of graphite produced by the graphitization process, which constitutes one of the steps in the process of manufacturing CANDU type fuel elements in the laboratories of the fuel technology department. The present study consists of characterizing the graphite layer deposited on zircaloy-4 lamellae and rods and estimating the average thickness of this layer for different concentrations of graphite and at different temperatures. The results of the SEM allow us to conclude that the thickness of the deposit is small and that the thickness of the graphite layer increases as the amount of alcohol decreases.

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