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Characterization of uranium carbide target materials to produce neutron-rich radioactive beams

S. Tusseau-Nenez, B. Roussière, N. Barré-Boscher, M. Cheikh Mhamed, S. Essabaa, Ch. Lau, M. Raynaud, A. Said

In the framework of a R&D program aiming to develop uranium carbide (UCx) targets for radioactive nuclear beams, the Institut de Physique Nucléaire d’Orsay (IPNO) has developed an experimental setup to characterize the release of various fission fragments from UCx samples at high temperature. The results obtained in a previous study have demonstrated the feasibility of the method and started to correlate the structural properties of the samples and their behavior in terms of nuclear reaction product release. In the present study, seven UCx samples have been systematically characterized in order to better understand the correlation between their physicochemical characteristics and release properties. Two very different samples, the first one composed of dense UC and the second one of highly porous UCx made of multi-wall carbon nanotubes, were provided by the ActILab (ENSAR) collaboration. The others were synthesized at IPNO. The systems for irradiation and heating necessary for the release studies have been improved with respect to those used in previous studies. The results show that the open porosity is hardly the limiting factor for the fission product release. The homogeneity of the microstructure and the pore size distribution contributes significantly to the increase of the release. The use of carbon nanotubes in place of traditional micrometric graphite particles appears to be promising, even if the homogeneity of the microstructure can still be enhanced.

Voir en ligne : Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B : Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms Volume 370 (2016) page 19



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