Femtosecond laser induced breakdown spectroscopy of silver within surrogate high temperature gas reactor fuel coated particles

Roberts D.E. ; Du Plessis A. ; Steyn J. ; Botha L.R. ; Strydom C.A. ; Van Rooyen I.J. (2010)


The detection of metallic silver on Chemical Vapour Deposited (CVD) grown silicon carbide and in Pebble Bed Modular Reactor (PBMR) supplied tri-structural isotropic (TRISO) coated particles (with 500 μm diameter zirconium oxide surrogate kernel) has been studied with femtosecond Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (femto-LIBS). The SiC layer of the TRISO coated particle is the main barrier to metallic and gaseous fission products of which 110mAg is of particular interest for direct cycle high temperature reactors. This work is a feasibility study for diagnosing and profiling silver transport through the silicon carbide layer of fuel particles for a high temperature gas reactor in out-of-reactor experimentation. The zirconium oxide is a surrogate for the enriched uranium oxide fuel. The conclusion reached in this study was that femto-LIBS can achieve good surface spatial resolution and good depth resolution for studies of silver in experimental coated particles. The LIBS technique also offers a good alternative for a remote analytical technique. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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