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Title: Generation IV Reactors Integrated Materials Technology Program Plan: Focus on Very High Temperature Reactor Materials

Abstract

Since 2002, the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems (Gen IV) Program has addressed the research and development (R&D) necessary to support next-generation nuclear energy systems. The six most promising systems identified for next-generation nuclear energy are described within this roadmap. Two employ a thermal neutron spectrum with coolants and temperatures that enable hydrogen or electricity production with high efficiency (the Supercritical Water Reactor-SCWR and the Very High Temperature Reactor-VHTR). Three employ a fast neutron spectrum to enable more effective management of actinides through recycling of most components in the discharged fuel (the Gas-cooled Fast Reactor-GFR, the Lead-cooled Fast Reactor-LFR, and the Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor-SFR). The Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) employs a circulating liquid fuel mixture that offers considerable flexibility for recycling actinides and may provide an alternative to accelerator-driven systems. At the inception of DOE's Gen IV program, it was decided to significantly pursue five of the six concepts identified in the Gen IV roadmap to determine which of them was most appropriate to meet the needs of future U.S. nuclear power generation. In particular, evaluation of the highly efficient thermal SCWR and VHTR reactors was initiated primarily for energy production, and evaluation of the threemore » fast reactor concepts, SFR, LFR, and GFR, was begun to assess viability for both energy production and their potential contribution to closing the fuel cycle. Within the Gen IV Program itself, only the VHTR class of reactors was selected for continued development. Hence, this document will address the multiple activities under the Gen IV program that contribute to the development of the VHTR. A few major technologies have been recognized by DOE as necessary to enable the deployment of the next generation of advanced nuclear reactors, including the development and qualification of the structural materials needed to ensure their safe and reliable operation. The focus of this document will be the overall range of DOE's structural materials research activities being conducted to support VHTR development. By far, the largest portion of material's R&D supporting VHTR development is that being performed directly as part of the Next-Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Project. Supplementary VHTR materials R&D being performed in the DOE program, including university and international research programs and that being performed under direct contracts with the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, will also be described. Specific areas of high-priority materials research that will be needed to deploy the NGNP and provide a basis for subsequent VHTRs are described, including the following: (1) Graphite: (a) Extensive unirradiated materials characterization and assessment of irradiation effects on properties must be performed to qualify new grades of graphite for nuclear service, including thermo-physical and mechanical properties and their changes, statistical variations from billot-to-billot and lot-to-lot, creep, and especially, irradiation creep. (b) Predictive models, as well as codification of the requirements and design methods for graphite core supports, must be developed to provide a basis for licensing. (2) Ceramics: Both fibrous and load-bearing ceramics must be qualified for environmental and radiation service as insulating materials. (3) Ceramic Composites: Carbon-carbon and SiC-SiC composites must be qualified for specialized usage in selected high-temperature components, such as core stabilizers, control rods, and insulating covers and ducting. This will require development of component-specific designs and fabrication processes, materials characterization, assessment of environmental and irradiation effects, and establishment of codes and standards for materials testing and design requirements. (4) Pressure Vessel Steels: (a) Qualification of short-term, high-temperature properties of light water reactor steels for anticipated VHTR off-normal conditions must be determined, as well as the effects of aging on tensile, creep, and toughness properties, and on thermal emissivity. (b) Large-scale fabrication process for higher temperature alloys, such as 9Cr-1MoV, including ensuring thick-section and weldment integrity must be developed, as well as improved definitions of creep-fatigue and negligible creep behavior. (5) High-Temperature Alloys: (a) Qualification and codification of materials for the intermediate heat exchanger, such as Alloys 617 or 230, for long-term very high-temperature creep, creep-fatigue, and environmental aging degradation must be done, especially in thin sections for compact designs, for both base metal and weldments. (b) Constitutive models and an improved methodology for high-temperature design must be developed.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
951084
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM-2008/129
AF3625200; NEAF265; TRN: US0902177
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; ALLOYS; BUILDING MATERIALS; CONTROL ELEMENTS; CREEP; FAST NEUTRONS; FAST REACTORS; FUEL CYCLE; GRAPHITE; HEAT EXCHANGERS; IRRADIATION; LIQUID FUELS; MATERIALS TESTING; MECHANICAL PROPERTIES; MOLTEN SALT REACTORS; NUCLEAR ENERGY; NUCLEAR POWER; PRESSURE VESSELS; REACTOR MATERIALS; REACTORS; RESEARCH PROGRAMS; THERMAL NEUTRONS; VHTR REACTOR

Citation Formats

Corwin, William R, Burchell, Timothy D, Katoh, Yutai, McGreevy, Timothy E, Nanstad, Randy K, Ren, Weiju, Snead, Lance Lewis, and Wilson, Dane F. Generation IV Reactors Integrated Materials Technology Program Plan: Focus on Very High Temperature Reactor Materials. United States: N. p., 2008. Web. doi:10.2172/951084.
Corwin, William R, Burchell, Timothy D, Katoh, Yutai, McGreevy, Timothy E, Nanstad, Randy K, Ren, Weiju, Snead, Lance Lewis, & Wilson, Dane F. Generation IV Reactors Integrated Materials Technology Program Plan: Focus on Very High Temperature Reactor Materials. United States. doi:10.2172/951084.
Corwin, William R, Burchell, Timothy D, Katoh, Yutai, McGreevy, Timothy E, Nanstad, Randy K, Ren, Weiju, Snead, Lance Lewis, and Wilson, Dane F. Fri . "Generation IV Reactors Integrated Materials Technology Program Plan: Focus on Very High Temperature Reactor Materials". United States. doi:10.2172/951084. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/951084.
@article{osti_951084,
title = {Generation IV Reactors Integrated Materials Technology Program Plan: Focus on Very High Temperature Reactor Materials},
author = {Corwin, William R and Burchell, Timothy D and Katoh, Yutai and McGreevy, Timothy E and Nanstad, Randy K and Ren, Weiju and Snead, Lance Lewis and Wilson, Dane F},
abstractNote = {Since 2002, the Department of Energy's (DOE's) Generation IV Nuclear Energy Systems (Gen IV) Program has addressed the research and development (R&D) necessary to support next-generation nuclear energy systems. The six most promising systems identified for next-generation nuclear energy are described within this roadmap. Two employ a thermal neutron spectrum with coolants and temperatures that enable hydrogen or electricity production with high efficiency (the Supercritical Water Reactor-SCWR and the Very High Temperature Reactor-VHTR). Three employ a fast neutron spectrum to enable more effective management of actinides through recycling of most components in the discharged fuel (the Gas-cooled Fast Reactor-GFR, the Lead-cooled Fast Reactor-LFR, and the Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor-SFR). The Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) employs a circulating liquid fuel mixture that offers considerable flexibility for recycling actinides and may provide an alternative to accelerator-driven systems. At the inception of DOE's Gen IV program, it was decided to significantly pursue five of the six concepts identified in the Gen IV roadmap to determine which of them was most appropriate to meet the needs of future U.S. nuclear power generation. In particular, evaluation of the highly efficient thermal SCWR and VHTR reactors was initiated primarily for energy production, and evaluation of the three fast reactor concepts, SFR, LFR, and GFR, was begun to assess viability for both energy production and their potential contribution to closing the fuel cycle. Within the Gen IV Program itself, only the VHTR class of reactors was selected for continued development. Hence, this document will address the multiple activities under the Gen IV program that contribute to the development of the VHTR. A few major technologies have been recognized by DOE as necessary to enable the deployment of the next generation of advanced nuclear reactors, including the development and qualification of the structural materials needed to ensure their safe and reliable operation. The focus of this document will be the overall range of DOE's structural materials research activities being conducted to support VHTR development. By far, the largest portion of material's R&D supporting VHTR development is that being performed directly as part of the Next-Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Project. Supplementary VHTR materials R&D being performed in the DOE program, including university and international research programs and that being performed under direct contracts with the American Society for Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code, will also be described. Specific areas of high-priority materials research that will be needed to deploy the NGNP and provide a basis for subsequent VHTRs are described, including the following: (1) Graphite: (a) Extensive unirradiated materials characterization and assessment of irradiation effects on properties must be performed to qualify new grades of graphite for nuclear service, including thermo-physical and mechanical properties and their changes, statistical variations from billot-to-billot and lot-to-lot, creep, and especially, irradiation creep. (b) Predictive models, as well as codification of the requirements and design methods for graphite core supports, must be developed to provide a basis for licensing. (2) Ceramics: Both fibrous and load-bearing ceramics must be qualified for environmental and radiation service as insulating materials. (3) Ceramic Composites: Carbon-carbon and SiC-SiC composites must be qualified for specialized usage in selected high-temperature components, such as core stabilizers, control rods, and insulating covers and ducting. This will require development of component-specific designs and fabrication processes, materials characterization, assessment of environmental and irradiation effects, and establishment of codes and standards for materials testing and design requirements. (4) Pressure Vessel Steels: (a) Qualification of short-term, high-temperature properties of light water reactor steels for anticipated VHTR off-normal conditions must be determined, as well as the effects of aging on tensile, creep, and toughness properties, and on thermal emissivity. (b) Large-scale fabrication process for higher temperature alloys, such as 9Cr-1MoV, including ensuring thick-section and weldment integrity must be developed, as well as improved definitions of creep-fatigue and negligible creep behavior. (5) High-Temperature Alloys: (a) Qualification and codification of materials for the intermediate heat exchanger, such as Alloys 617 or 230, for long-term very high-temperature creep, creep-fatigue, and environmental aging degradation must be done, especially in thin sections for compact designs, for both base metal and weldments. (b) Constitutive models and an improved methodology for high-temperature design must be developed.},
doi = {10.2172/951084},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2008},
month = {8}
}

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