Document Type

Annual Report

Publication Date



Materials for transmuter systems must be able to tolerate high neutron fluxes, great temperatures, and chemical corrosion. For lead bismuth eutectic (LBE) systems, there is an additional challenge in that the corrosive behaviors of materials in LBE 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 (on the order of parts per million) in the LBE significantly reduced corrosion. However, a fundamental understanding and verification of its role in the corrosion of steels is incomplete.

This research program will analyze various steel samples that have been exposed to LBE as part of the national program to develop LBE and transmutation technologies. The goal of this research is to understand the basic science of corrosion in the steel/LBE system. This information will be paramount in developing engineering efforts to control, avoid, and/or minimize the effect of corrosion of steels by LBE in transmuter and LBE systems. Additionally, this program provides UNLV researchers with hands-on experience that will be crucial in developing the UNLV LBE program, supporting the University’s mission with the ISTC target complex, and the future development of additional facilities to examine LBE systems.


Corrosion and anti-corrosives; Eutectic alloys; Lead-bismuth alloys; Lead-bismuth eutectic; Particle accelerators — Design and construction; Steel — Corrosion


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