Graphite is a key component in designs of current and future nuclear reactors whose in-service lifetimes are dependent upon the mechanical performance of the graphite. Irradiation damage from fast neutrons creates lattice defects which have a dynamic effect on the microstructure and mechanical properties of graphite. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) can offer real-time monitoring of the dynamic atomic-level response of graphite subjected to irradiation; however, conventional TEM specimen-preparation techniques, such as argon ion milling itself, damage the graphite specimen and introduce lattice defects. It is impossible to distinguish these defects from the ones created by electron or neutron irradiation. Thus,tomore »
Beyond the classical kinetic model for chronic graphite oxidation by moisture in high temperature gas-cooled reactorsFour grades of nuclear graphite with various microstructures were subjected to accelerated oxidation tests in helium with traces of moisture and hydrogen in order to evaluate the effects of chronic oxidation on graphite components in high temperature gas cooled reactors. Kinetic analysis showed that the Langmuir-Hinshelwood (LH) model cannot consistently reproduce all results. In particular, at high temperatures and water partial pressures oxidation was always faster than the LH model predicts, with stronger deviations for superfine grain graphite than for medium grain grades. It was also found empirically that the apparent reaction order for water has a sigmoid-type variation withmore »
Understanding the reaction of nuclear graphite with molecular oxygen: Kinetics, transport, and structural evolutionA thorough understanding of oxidation is important when considering the health and integrity of graphite components in graphite reactors. For the next generation of graphite reactors, HTGRs specifically, an unlikely air ingress has been deemed significant enough to have made its way into the licensing applications of many international licensing bodies. While a substantial body of literature exists on nuclear graphite oxidation in the presence of molecular oxygen and significant efforts have been made to characterize oxidation kinetics of various grades, the value of existing information is somewhat limited. Often, multiple competing processes, including reaction kinetics, mass transfer, and microstructuralmore »
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