Phase transformations in neutron-irradiated Zircaloys Page: 2 of 38
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PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS IN NEUTRON-IRRADIATED ZIRCALOYS*
H. M. Chung
Materials Science and Technology Division
Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, IL 60439
Microstructural evolution in Zircaloy-2 and -4 spent-fuel cladding
specimens after ~3 years of irradiation in commercial power reactors has been
investigated by TEM and HVEM. Two kinds of precipitates induced by the fast-
neutron irradiation in the reactors have been identified, i.e., Zr^O and
cubic-Zr02 particles approximately 2-10 tun in size. By means of a weak-beam
dark-field "Z^D-microscopy" technique, the bulk nature of the precipitates and
the surficial nature of artifact oxide and hydride phases could be discerned.
The Zr(Fex,Cr^_x)2 and Zr2(Fex,Ni^_x) intermetallic precipitates normally
present in the as-fabricated material virtually dissolved in the spent-fuel
cladding specimens after a fast-neutron fluence of “*4 x 10 ncm in the
power reactors. The observed radiation-induced phase transformations are
compared with predictions based on the currently available understanding of
the alloy characteristics.
It has been well established in the literature that the mechanical and
corrosion properties of Zircaloy cladding used in water-reactor fuel rods are
profoundly altered by neutron irradiation during the in-reactor service.^-
Despite the well-established effects of irradiation on mechanical and
corrosion properties, the microstructural evolution of the Zircaloy cladding
that takes place during the in-reactor irradiation and the concomitant
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Chung, H.M. Phase transformations in neutron-irradiated Zircaloys, article, April 1, 1986; United States. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1094084/m1/2/: accessed March 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.