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Fusion Science and Technology
China’s Tianwan-5 attains first criticality
Reactor operators bring Tianwan’s Unit 5 to first criticality. Photo: CNNC
Unit 5 at the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China achieved initial criticality on July 27, marking “the completion of the commissioning of the overall system and equipment of the unit,” according to Jiangsu Nuclear Power Corporation, the plant’s owner and operator.
N. A. P. Kiran Kumar, K. J. Leonard, G. E. Jellison, L. L. Snead
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 67 | Number 4 | May 2015 | Pages 771-783
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST14-875
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The study presents the high-dose behavior of dielectric mirrors specifically engineered for radiation tolerance. Alternating layers of Al2O3/SiO2 and HfO2/SiO2 were grown on sapphire substrates and exposed to neutron doses of 1 and 4 displacements per atom (dpa) at 458 ± 10 K in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR). In comparison to previously reported results, these higher doses of 1 and 4 dpa result in a drastic drop in optical reflectance, caused by a failure of the multilayer coating. HfO2/SiO2 mirrors failed completely when exposed to 1 dpa, whereas the reflectance of Al2O3/SiO2 mirrors reduced to 44%, eventually failing at 4 dpa. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) observation of the Al2O3/SiO2 specimens showed SiO2 layer defects, which increase in size with irradiation dose. The typical size of each defect was ≈8 nm in 1-dpa specimens and ≈42 nm in 4-dpa specimens. Buckling-type delamination of the interface between the substrate and first layer was typically observed in both 1- and 4-dpa HfO2/SiO2 specimens. Composition changes across the layers were measured in high-resolution-scanning–TEM mode using energy dispersive spectroscopy. A significant interdiffusion between the film layers was observed in the Al2O3/SiO2 mirror, although it was less evident in the HfO2/SiO2 system. The ultimate goal of this work is to provide insight into the radiation-induced failure mechanisms of these mirrors.