skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: High Strength, Oxidation Resistant Fuel Claddings for Improved Accident Tolerance

  1. Plasma Processes, LLC., Hunsville, AL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Plasma Processes, LLC., Hunsville, AL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DE-SC0011892 Final Report
DOE Contract Number:
Type / Phase:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

O'Dell, John Scott. High Strength, Oxidation Resistant Fuel Claddings for Improved Accident Tolerance. United States: N. p., 2015. Web.
O'Dell, John Scott. High Strength, Oxidation Resistant Fuel Claddings for Improved Accident Tolerance. United States.
O'Dell, John Scott. 2015. "High Strength, Oxidation Resistant Fuel Claddings for Improved Accident Tolerance". United States. doi:.
title = {High Strength, Oxidation Resistant Fuel Claddings for Improved Accident Tolerance},
author = {O'Dell, John Scott},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 3

Technical Report:
This technical report may be protected. To request the document, click here.
Other availability
Please see Document Availability for additional information on obtaining the full-text document. Library patrons may search WorldCat to identify libraries that may hold this item. Keep in mind that many technical reports are not cataloged in WorldCat.

Save / Share:
  • The DOE NEUP sponsored IRP on accident tolerant fuel (ATF) entitled Engineered Zircaloy Cladding Modifications for Improved Accident Tolerance of LWR Nuclear Fuel involved three academic institutions, Idaho National Laboratory (INL), and ATI Materials (ATI). Detailed descriptions of the work at the University of Illinois (UIUC, prime), the University of Florida (UF), the University of Michigan (UMich), and INL are included in this document as separate sections. This summary provides a synopsis of the work performed across the IRP team. Two ATF solution pathways were initially proposed, coatings on monolithic Zr-based LWR cladding material and selfhealing modifications of Zr-based alloys.more » The coating pathway was extensively investigated, both experimentally and in computations. Experimental activities related to ATF coatings were centered at UIUC, UF, and UMich and involved coating development and testing, and ion irradiation. Neutronic and thermal hydraulic aspects of ATF coatings were the focus of computational work at UIUC and UMich, while materials science aspects were the focus of computational work at UF and INL. ATI provided monolithic Zircaloy 2 and 4 material and a binary Zr-Y alloy material. The selfhealing pathway was investigated with advanced computations only. Beryllium was identified as a valid self-healing additive early in this work. However, all attempts to fabricate a Zr-Be alloy failed. Several avenues of fabrication were explored. ATI ultimately declined our fabrication request over health concerns associated with Be (we note that Be was not part of the original work scope and the ATI SOW). Likewise, Ames Laboratory declined our fabrication request, citing known litigation dating to the 1980s and 1990s involving the U.S. Federal government and U.S. National Laboratory employees involving the use of Be. Materion (formerly, Brush Wellman) also declined our fabrication request, citing the difficulty in working with a highly reactive Zr and Be. International fabrication options were explored in Europe and Asia, but this proved to be impractical, if not impossible. Consequently, experimental investigation of the Zr-Be binary system was dropped and exploration binary Zr-Y binary system was initiated. The motivation behind the Zr-Y system is the known thermodynamic stability of yttria over zirconia.« less
  • The present report summarizes and discusses the first year efforts towards developing a modern, nuclear grade FeCrAl alloy designed to have enhanced radiation tolerance and weldability under the Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies (NEET) program. Significant efforts have been made within the first year of this project including the fabrication of seven candidate FeCrAl alloys with well controlled chemistry and microstructure, the microstructural characterization of these alloys using standardized and advanced techniques, mechanical properties testing and evaluation of base alloys, the completion of welding trials and production of weldments for subsequent testing, the design of novel tensilemore » specimen geometry to increase the number of samples that can be irradiated in a single capsule and also shorten the time of their assessment after irradiation, the development of testing procedures for controlled hydrogen ingress studies, and a detailed mechanical and microstructural assessment of weldments prior to irradiation or hydrogen charging. These efforts and research results have shown promise for the FeCrAl alloy class as a new nuclear grade alloy class.« less
  • The present report summarizes and discusses the current results and on-going activity towards developing a modern, nuclear grade FeCrAl alloy designed to have enhanced radiation tolerance and weldability under the Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Energy Enabling Technologies (NEET) program.
  • High temperature oxidation resistant iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloys are candidate alloys for nuclear applications due to their exceptional performance during off-normal conditions such as a loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA) compared to currently deployed zirconium-based claddings [1]. A series of studies have been completed to determine the weldability of the FeCrAl alloy class and investigate the weldment performance in the as-received (non-irradiated) state [2,3]. These initial studies have shown the general effects of composition and microstructure on the weldability of FeCrAl alloys. Given this, limited details on the radiation tolerance of FeCrAl alloys and their weldments exist. Here, the highest priority candidate FeCrAlmore » alloys and their weldments have been investigated after irradiation to enable a better understanding of FeCrAl alloy weldment performance within a high-intensity neutron field. The alloys examined include C35M (Fe-13%Cr-5% Al) and variants with aluminum (+2%) or titanium carbide (+1%) additions. Two different sub-sized tensile geometries, SS-J type and SS-2E (or SS-mini), were neutron irradiated in the High Flux Isotope Reactor to 1.8-1.9 displacements per atom (dpa) in the temperature range of 195°C to 559°C. Post irradiation examination of the candidate alloys was completed and included uniaxial tensile tests coupled with digital image correlation (DIC), scanning electron microscopy-electron back scattered diffraction analysis (SEM-EBSD), and SEM-based fractography. In addition to weldment testing, non-welded parent material was examined as a direct comparison between welded and non-welded specimen performance. Both welded and non-welded specimens showed a high degree of radiation-induced hardening near irradiation temperatures of 200°C, moderate radiation-induced hardening near temperatures of 360°C, and almost no radiation-induced hardening at elevated temperatures near 550°C. Additionally, low-temperature irradiations showed the non-welded specimens to exhibit strain-induced softening (decrease in the true stress level) with increasing plastic strain during tensile testing. Fracture for the weldments was found to occur exclusively within the fusion zone. The mechanical performance of the weldment was speculated to be directly linked to variances in the radiation-induced microstructure including the formation of dislocation loops and precipitation of the Cr-rich α' phase. The localized microstructural variation within the weldments, including grain size, was determined to play a significant role in the radiation-induced microstructure. The results summarized within highlight the need for additional data on the radiation tolerance of weldments as the mechanical performance of the fusion zone was shown to be the limiting factor in the overall performance of the weldments.« less
  • In February of 1999, a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) was undertaken between Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Special Metals Corporation - Huntington Alloys (formerly INCO Alloys International, Inc.) to develop a modified wrought austenitic stainless alloy with considerably more strength and corrosion resistance than alloy 800H or 800HT, but with otherwise similar engineering and application characteristics. Alloy 800H and related alloys have extensive use in coal flue gas environments, as well as for tubing or structural components in chemical and petrochemical applications. The main concept of the project was make small, deliberate elemental microalloying additions to thismore » Fe-based alloy to produce, with proper processing, fine stable carbide dispersions for enhanced high temperature creep-strength and rupture resistance, with similar or better oxidation/corrosion resistance. The project began with alloy 803, a Fe-25Cr-35NiTi,Nb alloy recently developed by INCO, as the base alloy for modification. Smaller commercial developmental alloy heats were produced by Special Metal. At the end of the project, three rounds of alloy development had produced a modified 803 alloy with significantly better creep resistance above 815 C (1500 C) than standard alloy 803 in the solution-annealed (SA) condition. The new upgraded 803 alloy also had the potential for a processing boost in that creep resistance for certain kinds of manufactured components that was not found in the standard alloy. The upgraded 803 alloy showed similar or slightly better oxidation and corrosion resistance relative to standard 803. Creep strength and oxidation/corrosion resistance of the upgraded 803 alloy were significantly better than found in alloy 800 H, as originally intended. The CRADA was terminated in February 2003. A contributing factor was Special Metals Corporation being in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Additional testing, further commercial scale-up, and any potential invention disclosures were not pursued.« less