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Fission gas study using shielded EPMA and shielded SIMS

fission gas study
Shielded EPMA X-ray elemental mappings of Xenon at three different locations (center of the fuel rod, radial position, edge) revealing Xe located in small bubbles at the edge, while it is well dispersed at the center, except in grain boundaries. Xe radial profiles have been acquired by shielded EPMA and shielded SIMS.

Two different contents of Xe have been quantified : 
- Xe dissolved into the fuel (green line for EPMA and yellow points for SIMS) : during sample polishing Xe bubbles were broken leading to Xe evaporation.
- Total Xe content in the fuel (black line for EPMA and red points for SIMS : deducted from the quantification of Nd (EPMA) and from measurements of matrix signal and bubbles peak (SIMS).

EPMA and SIMS analysis provide complementary information about Xe characterization in irradiated fuel: SIMS enables to charactetrize deep Xe bubbles (etching of the sample) whereas EPMA gives accurate information on small bubbles close to the surface.

Recorded on a SX100-R and an Actinis at CEA Cadarache, France.
Image courtesy of Karine Hanifi and Philippe Bienvenu.