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Annual Report

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There is an active international interest in lead-bismuth eutectic and similar liquid lead systems because of the relevance to the transmutation of nuclear waste, fast reactors, and spallation neutron sources. A successful program in nuclear waste processing that includes transmutation in accelerator-driven systems and fast reactors, would significantly decrease the space requirements for geological repositories.

Materials in these systems must be able to tolerate high neutron fluxes, high temperatures, and chemical corrosion. For lead bismuth eutectic (LBE) systems, there is an additional challenge because 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.


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