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Title: High Temperature Steam Oxidation Testing of Candidate Accident Tolerant Fuel Cladding Materials

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 cladding materials to Zircaloy for accident tolerance and a significantly extended safety margin requires oxidation resistance to steam or steam-H2 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 withmore » 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 H2O 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 H2O 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
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  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
AF5810000; NEAF278
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS LOCA; SiC; FeCrAl; FeCr; Fuel cladding; Steam; Oxidation