Technical Brief

From micro to nano: Materials characterization methods for testing of nuclear core and structural materials

[+] Author and Article Information
Petra Bublíková

Research Centre Řež, Hlavní 130, 250 68 Husinec - Řež, Telephone: +420 601 291 414

Patricie Halodová

Research Centre Řež, Hlavní 130, 250 68 Husinec - Řež

Hygreeva Kiran Namburi

Research Centre Řež, Hlavní 130, 250 68 Husinec - Řež

Jakub Krejcí

UJP Praha, Nad Kamínkou 1345, 156 10 Praha - Zbraslav

Iveta Adéla Prokupková

Research Centre Řež, Hlavní 130, 250 68 Husinec - Řež

Marek Mikloš

Research Centre Řež, Hlavní 130, 250 68 Husinec - Řež

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4043462 History: Received February 28, 2018; Revised April 03, 2019


Zirconium-based nuclear fuel claddings act as a barrier against release of fuel particles into the coolant water during plant operation, handling and dry storage of the spent fuel rods. One part of CVR´s long-term investigation of Zr-claddings contributes to the characterization of materials behaviour under different conditions by means of standard as well as advanced methods of specimen preparation and microscopy investigation. Microstructure studies are currently focused on creep behaviour of non-irradiated Zr-alloys. In the microstructure of Zr-1Nb cladding, which is the one of examined alloys, hydrides can be significantly studied by Light, Scanning as well as Transmission Electron Microscopy. Within these studies, no radial hydride distributions have been observed in specimens after subjection to internal pressure of 55 MPa at 530°C up to 30 hours exposure time. SEM particularly contributes to observe the hydrides in a-Zr phase matrix in detail. Characteristic micrographs of hydride orientation can be obtained by EBSD technique. The methodology for in-situ SEM-EBSD at mechanical testing are going to be developed. Wave Dispersive Spectroscopy method has been optimized for oxygen profile concentration measurements in order to refine the O-content due to the high affinity of Zr-alloys to the oxygen. TEM studies on Zr-1Nb cover the hydride location as well as identification of secondary precipitates ß-Nb and Laves phase Zr (Nb,Fe)2, interaction of dislocations, degree of recrystallization, with special focus on deformed/ballooned regions after creep.

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