[ RadSafe ] Testing the Shelf-Life of Nuclear Reactors

Dan McCarn hotgreenchile at gmail.com
Thu Aug 21 17:06:26 CDT 2014

Testing the shelf-life of nuclear reactorsResearchers have devised a quick
way to test the structural materials used to build nuclear reactors,
details reported in the journal Scripta Materialia

Oxford, August 20, 2014 – Researchers at the University of Michigan, Ann
Arbor, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho
Falls and TerraPower based in Bellevue, Washington, have demonstrated the
power of high-energy beams of charged particles (ions). The ions can
rapidly and consistently damage samples of ferritic-martensitic steel, the
material used in certain nuclear reactor components. The significance of
the result is that the breakdown closely replicates that seen when
high-energy neutrons from a nuclear reactor interact with the material -
damage accrues in a matter of days, rather than decades.

The structural components of advanced reactors such as the sodium fast
reactor and the traveling wave nuclear reactor must be able to withstand
the extreme levels of radioactivity from the fission reaction itself at
temperatures well above 400 Celsius. Unfortunately, standard tests of such
components are expensive, require increasingly rare test reactors and test
periods that are impractical. Moreover, the samples themselves also become
radioactive making subsequent studies and examination time consuming and
expensive. Nevertheless, understanding how these structural components are
affected by radiation at the microscopic level is critical to building
long-lasting, robust and safe nuclear reactors.

To demonstrate the proof of principle with ion beams instead of
conventional reaction irradiation, the team of researchers preloaded
reactor components of ferritic-martensitic steel with atoms of helium gas,
to simulate alpha particles. They irradiated the samples with an ion beam
from a particle accelerator at 5 million electronvolts energy and a
temperature of 460 degrees Celsius for several hours, and after which used
transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to characterize the damage caused by
the energetic ions penetrating the steel and observed microscopic holes
(voids), dislocations and precipitates within the steel - none of which
were present before ion irradiation.

Comparing this ion-beam damage with that seen in actual components of the
same batch of steel used in a sodium fast reactor during the period
1985-1992, it was found that the types of defects (as well as their sizes
and numbers) caused by neutron bombardment from the nuclear reaction to be
closely reproduced by that with the ion beam experiments.

Lead author Gary Was hopes that their research will help develop "a
stronger understanding of how to use ion irradiation to emulate neutron
irradiation to enable the rapid development of new materials for advanced
reactors as principal sources of clean energy". With additional work, a
rapid, standardized experimental procedure may be developed for the routine
evaluation of materials, facilitating the creation of more resilient
components for nuclear reactors of the not-so-distant future.


*Notes for editors*

This article is "Emulation of reactor irradiation damage using ion beams"
by G.S. Was, Z. Jiao, E. Getto, K. Sun, A.M. Monterrosa, S.A. Maloy, O.
Anderoglu, B.H. Sencer and M. Hackett. It appears in *Scripta Materialia*,
Volume 88, 1 October 2014, Pages 33-36 published by Elsevier. The article
is available for free at http://www.materialstoday.com

*About Scripta Materialia*

*Scripta Materialia* is a letters journal of Acta Materialia, providing a
forum for the rapid publication of short communications on the relationship
between the structure and the properties of inorganic materials.

*About Materials Today*

Materials Today is a community dedicated to the creation and sharing of
materials science knowledge and experience. Supported by Elsevier, we
publish high impact peer-reviewed journals, organize academic conferences,
broadcast educational webinars and so much more.

*About Elsevier*

Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance
the performance of science, health, and technology professionals,
empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and
sometimes make groundbreaking discoveries that advance the boundaries of
knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital
solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research
Intelligence, and ClinicalKey — and publishes nearly 2,200 journals,
including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a
number of iconic reference works.

The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world leading provider of
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and Business sectors, which is jointly owned by Reed Elsevier PLC and Reed
Elsevier NV. The ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London
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*Media contact*

Baptiste Gault
+44 1865 843344
b.gault at elsevier.com

Dan ii

Dan W McCarn, Geologist
108 Sherwood Blvd
Los Alamos, NM 87544-3425
+1-505-672-2014 (Home – New Mexico)
+1-505-670-8123 (Mobile - New Mexico)
HotGreenChile at gmail.com (Private email) HotGreenChile at gmail dot com

On Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 1:02 AM, ROY HERREN <royherren2005 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Testing the Shelf-Life of Nuclear Reactors | Elsevier
> Testing the Shelf-Life of Nuclear Reactors | Elsevier
> Testing the Shelf-Life of Nuclear Reactors
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