Electricity production from nuclear sources has gained increased importance today in the fight against climate change and energy independence. Within this general context, this thesis aims to enhance the understanding of the properties and behavior of nuclear fuels under normal operating conditions as well as during hypothetical accident scenarios. To achieve this objective, innovative laser heating techniques are employed. Laser techniques not only enable precise characterization of the properties of irradiated (or fresh) nuclear fuels but also allow them to be subjected to controlled spatial and temporal gradients to study underlying fundamental mechanisms.
Accurate knowledge of the optical properties of materials, which govern the interaction of the laser beam with the considered substrate, is crucial in laser heating experiments. However, data on the optical properties of nuclear fuel are scarce, complex to measure, and often exhibit significantly different values. This thesis aims to make progress in this area, particularly targeting materials of interest. To do so, a combined approach of experimentation and modelling will be employed to quantify the optical properties of nuclear materials from ambient temperature to melting point.
The thesis will be conducted as part of the MATLASE CHAIR and in close collaboration between the LAMIR (Laboratoire d’Analyse de la MIgration des Radioéléments) within the Département d’Etude des Combustibles (IRESNE Institute, CEA-Cadarache)and the ILM team (Interaction Laser Matière) at the Institut Fresnel in Marseille, which will contribute its expertise in the field of high-power laser / material interactions and optical instrumentation for the development of the system and complex optical diagnostics.
This framework will enable the doctoral student to work in a stimulating scientific environment and allow them to disseminate their research both in France and abroad.
The candidate must have a master's degree or an engineering qualification in the field of optics, photonics, laser processes and/or materials.