, Volume 71, Issue 12, pp 4817–4828 | Cite as

Mesoscale Modeling of High Burn-Up Structure Formation and Evolution in UO2

  • M. Gomaa AbdoelatefEmail author
  • Fergany Badry
  • Daniel Schwen
  • Cody Permann
  • Yongfeng Zhang
  • Karim Ahmed
Ceramic Materials for Nuclear Energy Applications


A phase-field model was developed to simulate the high burn-up structure formation and evolution in UO2. The model takes into account the interfacial energies of grain boundaries and bubble surfaces, the strain energy associated with dislocations, and the chemical energy of gas atoms. This enables the model to simulate the formation and growth of sub-grains and bubbles in a self-consistent manner. The model results demonstrate strong effects of dislocation density (its magnitude and distribution), grain boundary energy, and bubble radius and number density on the formation of the sub-grains. For polycrystalline UO2, the model predicts the average size of the recrystallized grains to lie within the range of 0.3–0.5 µm corresponding to a dislocation density range of \( \rho = (2.5 \times 10^{15} - 2.65 \times 10^{15} ) \;{\text{m}}^{ - 2} \) or equivalent to 70–75 GWd/tHM burn-up. These predictions agree reasonably well with data reported in the literature.



The authors from Texas A&M University would like to acknowledge the support from a start-up Grant from Texas A&M University and a faculty development Grant from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC-HQ-84-16-G-0009). The authors from Idaho National Laboratory acknowledge the support from the Department of Energy Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS) program. Portions of this research were conducted with the advanced computing resources provided by Texas A&M High Performance Research Computing.


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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nuclear Engineering DepartmentTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA
  2. 2.Fuel Modeling and Simulation DepartmentIdaho National LaboratoryIdaho FallsUSA
  3. 3.Department of Engineering PhysicsUniversity of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA

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