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Title: Steam Oxidation Evaluation of Fe-Cr Alloys for Accident Tolerant Nuclear Fuel Cladding

 [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Nuclear Science User Facility (NSUF)
Sponsoring Org.:
Work for Others (WFO)
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Journal Volume: 87; Journal Issue: 3-4; Conference: HTCPM9, Les Embiez, France, 20160515, 20160520
Country of Publication:
United States
FeCr alloys; steam oxidation; kinetics; STEM

Citation Formats

Pint, Bruce A, and Unocic, Kinga A. Steam Oxidation Evaluation of Fe-Cr Alloys for Accident Tolerant Nuclear Fuel Cladding. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1007/s11085-017-9754-0.
Pint, Bruce A, & Unocic, Kinga A. Steam Oxidation Evaluation of Fe-Cr Alloys for Accident Tolerant Nuclear Fuel Cladding. United States. doi:10.1007/s11085-017-9754-0.
Pint, Bruce A, and Unocic, Kinga A. Sun . "Steam Oxidation Evaluation of Fe-Cr Alloys for Accident Tolerant Nuclear Fuel Cladding". United States. doi:10.1007/s11085-017-9754-0.
title = {Steam Oxidation Evaluation of Fe-Cr Alloys for Accident Tolerant Nuclear Fuel Cladding},
author = {Pint, Bruce A and Unocic, Kinga A},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {10.1007/s11085-017-9754-0},
journal = {},
number = 3-4,
volume = 87,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}

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  • The Fuel Cycle Research and Development (FCRD) program’s Advanced Fuels Campaign has initiated a multifold effort aimed at facilitating development of accident tolerant fuels in order to overcome the inherent shortcomings of light water reactor (LWR) fuels when exposed to beyond design basis accident conditions. The campaign has invested in development of experimental infrastructure within the Department of Energy complex capable of chronicling the performance of a wide range of concepts under prototypic accident conditions. This report summarizes progress made at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in FY13 toward these goals. Alternative fuel claddingmore » materials to Zircaloy for accident tolerance and a significantly extended safety margin requires oxidation resistance to steam or steam-H 2 environments at ≥1200°C for short times. At ORNL, prior work focused attention on SiC, FeCr and FeCrAl as the most promising candidates for further development. Also, it was observed that elevated pressure and H2 additions had minor effects on alloy steam oxidation resistance, thus, 1 bar steam was adequate for screening potential candidates. Commercial Fe-20Cr-5Al alloys remain protective up to 1475°C in steam and CVD SiC up to 1700°C in steam. Alloy development has focused on Fe-Cr-Mn-Si-Y and Fe-Cr-Al-Y alloys with the aluminaforming alloys showing more promise. At 1200°C, ferritic binary Fe-Cr alloys required ≥25% Cr to be protective for this application. With minor alloy additions to Fe-Cr, more than 20%Cr was still required, which makes the alloy susceptible to α’ embrittlement. Based on current results, a Fe-15Cr-5Al-Y composition was selected for initial tube fabrication and welding for irradiation experiments in FY14. Evaluations of chemical vapor deposited (CVD) SiC were conducted up to 1700°C in steam. The reaction of H 2O with the alumina reaction tube at 1700°C resulted in Al(OH) 3 formation, which reacted with the specimen to form a liquid reaction product. This behavior was not observed at lower temperatures where gas velocity and H 2O content showed typical effects on the reaction rate. For LANL, the capabilities for oxidation testing as well as exploration of a methodology for measurement of hydrogen production of samples during oxidation under water vapor atmospheres is discussed. Results obtained for available commercial alloys are summarized, and data highlighting the performance of molybdenum, a recently proposed cladding material, are presented. Finally, leveraging of these techniques in conjunction with current and companion FCRD programs is discussed with respect to work in FY14.« less
  • Since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, enhancing the accident tolerance of light water reactors (LWRs) has become an important research topic. In particular, the community is actively developing enhanced fuels and cladding for LWRs to improve safety in the event of accidents in the reactor or spent fuel pools. Fuels with enhanced accident tolerance are those that, in comparison with the standard UO2-zirconium alloy system, can tolerate loss of active cooling in the reactor core for a considerably longer time period during design-basis and beyond design-basis events while maintaining or improving the fuel performance during normalmore » operations and operational transients. This paper presents early work in developing thermal and mechanical models for two materials that may have promise: U-Si for fuel, and FeCrAl for cladding. These materials would not necessarily be used together in the same fuel system, but individually have promising characteristics. BISON, the finite element-based fuel performance code in development at Idaho National Laboratory, was used to compare results from normal operation conditions with Zr-4/UO2 behavior. In addition, sensitivity studies are presented for evaluating the relative importance of material parameters such as ductility and thermal conductivity in FeCrAl and U-Si in order to provide guidance on future experiments for these materials.« less
  • Ferritic-structured Fe-Cr-Al alloys are being developed and show promise as oxidation resistant accident tolerant light water reactor fuel cladding. This study focuses on investigating the weldability of three model alloys in a range of Fe-(13-17.5)Cr-(3-4.4)Al in weight percent with a minor addition of yttrium using laser-welding techniques. A detailed study on the mechanical performance of bead-on-plate welds has been carried out to determine the performance of welds as a function of alloy composition. Laser welding resulted in a defect free weld devoid of cracking or inclusions for all alloys studied. Results indicated a reduction in the yield strength within themore » fusion zone compared to the base metal. Yield strength reduction was found to be primarily constrained to the fusion zone due to grain coarsening with a less severe reduction in the heat affected zone. No significant correlation was found between the deformation behavior/mechanical performance of welds and the level of Cr or Al in the alloy ranges studied.« less