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ASTM Selected Technical Papers
Zirconium in the Nuclear Industry: 20th International Symposium
Editor
Suresh K. Yagnik
Suresh K. Yagnik
Symposium Chairperson and STP Editor
1
Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)
,
Palo Alto, CA,
US
Search for other works by this author on:
Michael Preuss
Michael Preuss
Symposium Chair and STP Editor
2
The University of Manchester Manchester
,
GB
;
Monash University
,
Clayton/Melbourne,
AU
Search for other works by this author on:
ISBN:
978-0-8031-7737-6
No. of Pages:
928
Publisher:
ASTM International
Publication date:
2023

To better understand the effect of hydrides on accelerating Zircaloy-4 oxide growth in-reactor, two distinct studies were performed that utilized the Advanced Test Reactor. These and previous studies used three different ways of accelerating the accumulation of hydrogen: the use of samples precharged with hydrogen, adding nickel to accelerate the hydrogen pickup, and altering coupon dimensions (thickness) to reduce the volume. Results show that the previously observed out-of-reactor effect of increasing hydrogen content above solubility leading to an increased corrosion rate in Zircaloy-4 was also present in-reactor (for exposures for up to 1,746 days between 310°C and 356°C and with an average neutron flux of 0.08–1.4 × 1014 n/cm2/s). When compared to autoclave results and accounting for neutron flux effects (which for a given temperature leads to an absolute increase in the corrosion rate), the relative corrosion rate increase for the in-reactor material is similar as a function of hydrogen content. Due to limited data, future work is recommended on the determination of a synergistic effect of hydrogen and neutron flux leading to higher corrosion-rate increases. In-reactor hydrogen pickup as a function of nickel content was lower compared with autoclave-exposed materials; however, the trend was consistent with that observed in the autoclave-exposed samples. Comparisons of different hydrogen-charging methods suggests that precharged samples may have lower corrosion rates as a function of hydrogen content, although more study is needed. The results of these experiments were used to help hypothesize possible mechanisms for hydride accelerated corrosion.

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