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Annual Report

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In advanced nuclear energy systems, lead-alloys (e.g., lead, lead bismuth eutectic) emerge as strong candidates for transmutation and advanced reactor systems as nuclear coolants and high-power spallation neutron targets. However, it is widely recognized that corrosion of materials caused by lead-alloys presents a critical barrier to their industrial use. A few experimental research and development projects have been set up by different groups such as LANL to study the corrosion phenomena in their test facilities and to develop mitigation techniques and materials.

The goal of the proposed research project is to provide basic understanding of the protective oxide layer behaviors and to develop oxide layer growth models of steels in non-isothermal lead alloys (lead or lead-bismuth eutectic) coolant systems. Precise studies and simulations of all hydrodynamics with thermal conditions encountered in practical coolant loop systems by use of different flowing conditions in the laboratory are difficult and expensive, if not impossible. Therefore it is important and necessary to develop theoretical models to predict the protective oxide layer behaviors at the design stage of a practical lead-alloy coolant system, to properly interpret and apply experimental results from test loops, and to provide guidance for optimization in lead alloys nuclear coolant systems. The research project, therefore, is aimed at filling the gaps of protective oxide layer growth and the oxygen concentration level before lead-alloys nuclear coolant is ready for programmatic implementations and industrial applications.


Corrosion and anti-corrosives; Eutectic alloys; Lead-bismuth alloys; Metals — Oxidation; Nuclear reactors — Materials — Testing; Oxide coating; Steel — Corrosion


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