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Hydride Rim Formation in Unirradiated Zircaloy

The purpose of this work is to develop the means of pre-hydriding unirradiated Zircaloy cladding such that a high concentration, or rim, of hydrides is formed at the cladding outside diameter as is found in cladding for high burnup fuels. The work demonstrates that it is possible to pre-hydride samples at low temperatures (<400°C) in pure H2; it appears possible to form the desired hydride rim using this technique; surface conditions of the cladding, and especially the presence or growth of an oxide layer during hydrogen loading, are controlling factors in this process; and hydrogen/hydride redistribution is not as well understood as previously reported in the literature.