Composite Materials under Extreme Radiation and Temperature Environments of the Next Generation Nuclear Reactors

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In the nuclear energy renaissance, driven by fission reactor concepts utilizing very high temperatures and fast neutron spectra, materials with enhanced performance that exceeds are expected to play a central role. With the operating temperatures of the Generation III reactors bringing the classical reactor materials close to their performance limits there is an urgent need to develop and qualify new alloys and composites. Efforts have been focused on the intricate relations and the high demands placed on materials at the anticipated extreme states within the next generation fusion and fission reactors which combine high radiation fluxes, elevated temperatures and aggressive ... continued below

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Simos, N. May 1, 2011.

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Description

In the nuclear energy renaissance, driven by fission reactor concepts utilizing very high temperatures and fast neutron spectra, materials with enhanced performance that exceeds are expected to play a central role. With the operating temperatures of the Generation III reactors bringing the classical reactor materials close to their performance limits there is an urgent need to develop and qualify new alloys and composites. Efforts have been focused on the intricate relations and the high demands placed on materials at the anticipated extreme states within the next generation fusion and fission reactors which combine high radiation fluxes, elevated temperatures and aggressive environments. While nuclear reactors have been in operation for several decades, the structural materials associated with the next generation options need to endure much higher temperatures (1200 C), higher neutron doses (tens of displacements per atom, dpa), and extremely corrosive environments, which are beyond the experience on materials accumulated to-date. The most important consideration is the performance and reliability of structural materials for both in-core and out-of-core functions. While there exists a great body of nuclear materials research and operating experience/performance from fission reactors where epithermal and thermal neutrons interact with materials and alter their physio-mechanical properties, a process that is well understood by now, there are no operating or even experimental facilities that will facilitate the extreme conditions of flux and temperature anticipated and thus provide insights into the behaviour of these well understood materials. Materials, however, still need to be developed and their interaction and damage potential or lifetime to be quantified for the next generation nuclear energy. Based on material development advances, composites, and in particular ceramic composites, seem to inherently possess properties suitable for key functions within the operating envelope of both fission and fusion reactors. In advanced fission reactors composite materials are being designed in an effort to extend the life and improve the reliability of fuel rod cladding as well as structural materials. Composites are being considered for use as core internals in the next generation of gas-cooled reactors. Further, next-generation plasma-fusion reactors, such as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) will rely on the capabilities of advanced composites to safely withstand extremely high neutron fluxes while providing superior thermal shock resistance.

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  • Report No.: BNL--95200-2011-BC
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-98CH10886
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1025441
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc829377

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • May 1, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Aug. 26, 2016, 12:16 p.m.

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Simos, N. Composite Materials under Extreme Radiation and Temperature Environments of the Next Generation Nuclear Reactors, book, May 1, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc829377/: accessed September 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.