Fuels in LWRs are subjected to ~1 DPA per day

High burn-up fuel can experience >2000 DPA. Traditional reactor tests by neutron irradiation require 3 years in a reactor and 1 year cool down. Conventional accelerators (>1 MeV/ion) are limited to <200-400 DPAs, and exhibit surface defects for T > 773K.

XMAT enables the study of bulk damage to >2500 DPA due to its heavy ion acceleration capability; material turn around is measured in hours. Surface effects do not play a role at relevant temperatures (~10 microns away).

More than 80% of the damage arises from fission fragments

XMAT delivers fragment ions at fission fragment energies. Any fragment element can be used, and multiple fragment types can be accelerated at once. This is significant since a wide range of fission fragments are produced in fuels, each type contributing unique damage.

XMAT allows the study of all the damage processes that occur in fuels; electronic and nuclear effects are tested. Developing and validating predictive models requires an understanding of each of the processes.

The chemical and added interstitial effects of fission fragments can be evaluated

Volatile, metallic and oxide fragments (dissolution and preciptitates) can be accelerated and tested; individual and nonlinear effects can be determined.