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Title: A Novel Zr-1Nb Alloy and a New Look at Hydriding

A novel Zr-1Nb has begun development based on a working model that takes into account the hydrogen permeabilities for zirconium and niobium metals. The beta-Nb secondary phase particles (SPPs) in Zr-1Nb are believed to promote more rapid hydrogen dynamics in the alloy in comparison to other zirconium alloys. Furthermore, some hydrogen release is expected at the lower temperatures corresponding to outages when the partial pressure of H2 in the coolant is less. These characteristics lessen the negative synergism between corrosion and hydriding that is otherwise observed in cladding alloys without niobium. In accord with the working model, development of nanoscale precursors was initiated to enhance the performance of existing Zr-1Nb alloys. Their characteristics and properties can be compared to oxide-dispersion strengthened alloys, and material additions have been proposed to zirconium-based LWR cladding to guard further against hydriding and to fix the size of the SPPs for microstructure stability enhancements. A preparative route is being investigated that does not require mechanical alloying, and 10 nanometer molybdenum particles have been prepared which are part of the nanoscale precursors. If successful, the approach has implications for long term dry storage of used fuel and for new routes to nanoferritic and ODS alloys.
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Resource Relation:
Conference: Top Fuels 2013,Charlotte NC,09/15/2013,09/19/2013
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS cladding; molybdenum; nano-scale; nanospheres; niobium; ODS; oxide dispersion strengthening agents; zirconium