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Title: Versatile Oxide Films Protect FeCrAl Alloys Under Normal Operation and Accident Conditions in Light Water Power Reactors

Abstract

The US has currently a fleet of 99 nuclear power light water reactors which generate approximately 20% of the electricity consumed in the country. Near 90% of the reactors are at least 30 years old. There are incentives to make the existing reactors safer by using accident tolerant fuels (ATF). Compared to the standard UO2–zirconium-based system, ATF need to tolerate loss of active cooling in the core for a considerably longer time while maintaining or improving the fuel performance during normal operation conditions. Ferritic iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloys have been identified as an alter-native to replace current zirconium alloys. They contain Fe (base) + 10–22 Cr + 4–6 Al and may contain smaller amounts of other elements such as molybdenum and traces of others. FeCrAl alloys offer outstanding resistance to attack by superheated steam by developing an alumina oxide on the surface in case of a loss of coolant accident like at Fukushima. FeCrAl alloys also perform well under normal operation conditions both in boiling water reactors and pressurized water reactors because they are protected by a thin oxide rich in chromium. Under normal operation condition, the key element is Cr and under accident conditions it is Al.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]
  1. GE Global Research, Schenectady, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
General Electric Co., Niskayuna, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1511456
Grant/Contract Number:  
NE0008221
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
JOM. Journal of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 70; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1047-4838
Publisher:
Springer
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE

Citation Formats

Rebak, Raul B. Versatile Oxide Films Protect FeCrAl Alloys Under Normal Operation and Accident Conditions in Light Water Power Reactors. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1007/s11837-017-2705-z.
Rebak, Raul B. Versatile Oxide Films Protect FeCrAl Alloys Under Normal Operation and Accident Conditions in Light Water Power Reactors. United States. doi:10.1007/s11837-017-2705-z.
Rebak, Raul B. Fri . "Versatile Oxide Films Protect FeCrAl Alloys Under Normal Operation and Accident Conditions in Light Water Power Reactors". United States. doi:10.1007/s11837-017-2705-z. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1511456.
@article{osti_1511456,
title = {Versatile Oxide Films Protect FeCrAl Alloys Under Normal Operation and Accident Conditions in Light Water Power Reactors},
author = {Rebak, Raul B.},
abstractNote = {The US has currently a fleet of 99 nuclear power light water reactors which generate approximately 20% of the electricity consumed in the country. Near 90% of the reactors are at least 30 years old. There are incentives to make the existing reactors safer by using accident tolerant fuels (ATF). Compared to the standard UO2–zirconium-based system, ATF need to tolerate loss of active cooling in the core for a considerably longer time while maintaining or improving the fuel performance during normal operation conditions. Ferritic iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloys have been identified as an alter-native to replace current zirconium alloys. They contain Fe (base) + 10–22 Cr + 4–6 Al and may contain smaller amounts of other elements such as molybdenum and traces of others. FeCrAl alloys offer outstanding resistance to attack by superheated steam by developing an alumina oxide on the surface in case of a loss of coolant accident like at Fukushima. FeCrAl alloys also perform well under normal operation conditions both in boiling water reactors and pressurized water reactors because they are protected by a thin oxide rich in chromium. Under normal operation condition, the key element is Cr and under accident conditions it is Al.},
doi = {10.1007/s11837-017-2705-z},
journal = {JOM. Journal of the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society},
number = 2,
volume = 70,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record

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Cited by: 9 works
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Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: World energy consumption by fuel (US Energy Information Administration 2016). Reproduced with permission from Ref. 1.

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Works referenced in this record:

Metrics for the Technical Performance Evaluation of Light Water Reactor Accident-Tolerant Fuel
journal, August 2016

  • Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M.; Todosow, Michael; Montgomery, Robert
  • Nuclear Technology, Vol. 195, Issue 2
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Performance degradation of candidate accident-tolerant cladding under corrosive environment
journal, August 2017


Uniform corrosion of FeCrAl alloys in LWR coolant environments
journal, October 2016


Nuclear power plants prepare for old age
journal, August 2016


Characterization of oxides formed on iron-chromium-aluminum alloy in simulated light water reactor environments
journal, August 2017


    Works referencing / citing this record:

    Oxidation Characteristics of Two FeCrAl Alloys in Air and Steam from 800°C to 1300°C
    journal, June 2018