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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

High hydrogen pickup (HPU) and large scatter on HPU at high burnup/high exposure times is observed for Zircaloy-2 (Zr-2), which is used as fuel cladding, fuel channels, water rods, and spacer materials in boiling water reactors (BWRs). However, Zircaloy-4 (Zr-4) does not show this behavior in similar BWR environments. Because the main difference between Zr-2 and Zr-4 is that Zr-2 contains nickel as an alloying element, an investigation was pursued to elucidate the role of nickel. In this study, several Zr-2 and Zr-4 BWR fuel channel materials with low and high HPU exposed to known operating conditions, as well as a set of Zr-2 water rod materials irradiated in commercial BWRs in various exposures presenting higher HPU later in life, were examined using scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and 3D atom probe (3DAP) to determine the microstructural differences in the oxide layers and underlying metal that may lead to increased HPU, specifically focusing on where the nickel and iron are in the metal and in the oxide layers to explain the role of nickel on enhanced HPU in Zr-2 at high residence times. TEM analyses showed that nickel-containing secondary-phase particles (SPPs) dissolve as a function of fast fluence and that nickel dissolves slower than iron in irradiated Zr-2. The 3DAP analyses showed increased nickel content in solid solution in the alloy matrix, but there was no difference in the measured nickel content between low and high HPU fraction materials. Alloying element segregation was observed at the metal grain boundaries in TEM and 3DAP. 3DAP results showed some nickel and iron clustering in the irradiated metal and occasionally in the oxide layer. However, nickel segregation was not observed unequivocally in the oxide layers either using TEM or 3DAP in this study.

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,”
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