Interdiffusion, Intrinsic Diffusion, Atomic Mobility, and Vacancy Wind Effect in γ(bcc) Uranium-Molybdenum Alloy
U-Mo alloys are being developed as low enrichment uranium fuels under the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactor (RERTR) Program. In order to understand the fundamental diffusion behavior of this system, solid-to-solid pure U vs Mo diffusion couples were assembled and annealed at 923 K, 973 K, 1073 K, 1173 K, and 1273 K (650 °C, 700 °C, 800 °C, 900 °C, and 1000 °C) for various times. The interdiffusion microstructures and concentration profiles were examined via scanning electron microscopy and electron probe microanalysis, respectively. As the Mo concentration increased from 2 to 26 at. pct, the interdiffusion coefficient decreased, while the activation energy increased. A Kirkendall marker plane was clearly identified in each diffusion couple and utilized to determine intrinsic diffusion coefficients. Uranium intrinsically diffused 5-10 times faster than Mo. Molar excess Gibbs free energy of U-Mo alloy was applied to calculate the thermodynamic factor using ideal, regular, and subregular solution models. Based on the intrinsic diffusion coefficients and thermodynamic factors, Manning’s formalism was used to calculate the tracer diffusion coefficients, atomic mobilities, and vacancy wind parameters of U and Mo at the marker composition. The tracer diffusion coefficients and atomic mobilities of U were about five times larger than those of Mo, and the vacancy wind effect increased the intrinsic flux of U by approximately 30 pct.
KeywordsDiffusion Couple Interdiffusion Coefficient Atomic Mobility Thermodynamic Factor Regular Solution Model
This study was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Materials Threat Reduction (NA-212), the National Nuclear Security Administration, under DOE-NE Idaho Operations Office Contract DE-AC07-05ID14517. Accordingly, the U.S. Government retains a non-exclusive, royalty-free license to publish or reproduce the published form of this contribution, or allow others to do so, for the purpose of the U.S. Government.
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