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Title: Inhibition of Oxidation in Nuclear Graphite

Graphite is a fundamental material of high temperature gas cooled nuclear reactors, providing both structure and neutron moderation. Its high thermal conductivity, chemical inertness, thermal heat capacity, and high thermal structural stability under normal and off normal conditions contribute to the inherent safety of these reactor designs. One of the primary safety issues for a high temperature graphite reactor core is the possibility of rapid oxidation of the carbon structure during an off normal design basis event where an oxidizing atmosphere (air ingress) can be introduced to the hot core. Although the current Generation IV high temperature reactor designs attempt to mitigate any damage caused by a postualed air ingress event, the use of graphite components that inhibit oxidation is a logical step to increase the safety of these reactors. Recent experimental studies of graphite containing between 5.5 and 7 wt% boron carbide (B4C) indicate that oxidation is dramatically reduced even at prolonged exposures at temperatures up to 900°C. The proposed addition of B4C to graphite components in the nuclear core would necessarily be enriched in B-11 isotope in order to minimize B-10 neutron absorption and graphite swelling. The enriched boron can be added to the graphite during billet fabrication.more » Experimental oxidation rate results and potential applications for borated graphite in nuclear reactor components will be discussed.« less
Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1133883
Report Number(s):
INL/CON-13-30257
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: International Workshop on Structural Materials for Innovative Nuclear Systems,Idaho Falls, Idaho,10/07/2013,10/10/2013
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org:
DOE - NE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS Graphite; NGNP; oxidation; SMINS3; TDO