Irradiation Issues and Material Selection for Canadian SCWR Components

[+] Author and Article Information
Lori Walters

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories 286 Plant Road Chalk River, Ontario, Canada K0J 1J0

Michael Wright

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories 286 Plant Road Chalk River, Ontario, Canada K0J 1J0

D. Guzonas

Retired from Canadian Nuclear Laboratories

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038367 History: Received April 30, 2017; Revised October 03, 2017


The Canadian Super Critical Water-Cooled Reactor (SCWR) concept requires materials to operate at higher temperatures than current Generation III water-cooled reactors. Materials performance after radiation damage is an important design consideration. Materials that are both corrosion resistant and radiation damage tolerant are required. This paper summarizes the operating conditions including temperature, neutron flux and residence time of in-core Canadian SCWR components. The focus is on the effects of irradiation on in-core components, including those exposed to a high neutron flux in the fuel assembly, the high pressure boundary between coolant and moderator, as well as the low-temperature, low-flux calandria vessel that contains the moderator. Although the extreme conditions and the broad range of SCWR in core operating conditions present significant materials selection challenges, candidate alloys that can meet the performance requirements under most in-core conditions have been identified. However, for all candidate materials, insufficient data are available to unequivocally ensure acceptable performance and experimental irradiations of candidate core materials will be required. Research programs are to include out-of-pile tests on un-irradiated and irradiated alloys. Ideally, in-flux studies at appropriate temperatures, neutron spectrum, dose rate, duration, and coolant chemistry will be required. Characterization of the microstructure and the mechanical behavior including strength, ductility, swelling, fracture toughness, cracking and creep on each of the in-core candidate materials will ensure their viability in the Canadian SCWR.

Section 5: Non-US Gov Employees
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