General Electric (GE) is working with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop advanced technology fuel (ATF) for light water reactors (LWR) that will have enhanced tolerance to failure under severe accident conditions. The development of materials for the current fuel is aimed at Generation III LWR but findings may be extended to future Generation IV reactors. One of the concepts pursued by GE is to use iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) or IronClad for the cladding due to its outstanding resistance to reaction with air and steam at temperatures higher than 1000°C. Ferritic FeCrAl alloys have been used for almost nine decades in the industry, but never in nuclear applications, therefore its fabrication and mechanical aspects for nuclear use needs to be evaluated. Results show that billets of FeCrAl can be produced via traditional melting and using powder metallurgy, and these billets can later be processed to high strength full length cladding tubes having less than half a millimeter wall thickness. The tubes can be joined to the caps via several welding processes.

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