Document Type

Annual Report

Publication Date



Advanced nuclear processes such the transmutation of nuclear waste, fast reactors, and spallation neutron sources require advanced materials systems to contain them. In particular, a successful program in nuclear waste processing that includes transmutation in accelerator-driven systems and fast reactors requires structural materials that are stable in the presence of non-moderating coolants. A prime candidate for such a coolant is Lead Bismuth Eutectic (LBE).

Materials in these systems must be able to tolerate high neutron fluxes, high temperatures, and chemical corrosion. For LBE systems, there is an additional challenge because the corrosive behaviors of materials in lead bismuth are not well understood. Most of the available information on LBE systems has come from the Russians, who have over 80 reactor-years experience with LBE coolant in their Alpha-class submarine reactors. The Russians found that the presence of small amounts of oxygen in the LBE significantly reduced corrosion. However, a fundamental understanding and verification of oxygen’s role in the corrosion of steels is incomplete.


Corrosion and anti-corrosives; Eutectic alloys; Lead-bismuth alloys; Metals—Cold working; Nuclear reactors — Materials — Testing; Steel — Corrosion


Materials Science and Engineering | Metallurgy | Nuclear Engineering | Oil, Gas, and Energy