Skip to main content

FeCrAl fuel/clad chemical interaction in light water reactor environments

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Nuclear Materials
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1 to 11

This article investigates the fuel-cladding chemical interaction (FCCI) behavior of two commercial FeCrAl alloys, APMT composition (Fe-21Cr-5Al-3Mo wt.%) and C35M (Fe-13Cr-5Al-2Mo-0.2Si-0.03Y wt.%), after neutron irradiation. “H-cup” diffusion multiples of FeCrAl alloys and ceramic UO2 fuel were irradiated at a temperature of ∼300 °C to a total estimated burnup of 26 GWd/tHM. Post-irradiation Examination results demonstrate the excellent degradation resistance of FeCrAl alloys as accident tolerant fuel (ATF) cladding materials in light water reactor conditions. The study concludes that there was no irradiation-induced defects observed in either of the two commercial FeCrAl claddings. The formation of amorphous Al/U mixed oxide was observed at the fuel-clad interface, which can serve as a tritium permeation barrier and protect against potential chemical attack from the fuel. The study attributed the formation of amorphous Al/U mixed oxide to the low temperature and limited time of neutron irradiation. APMT forms more distinct Cr and Cr-Fe intermetallic at the FeCrAl-UO2 interface than C35M due to the higher bulk Cr:Al ratio.