MSE-414 Nuclear materials
Host department: Materials
Time slot: PM
Who can study this module: Open to Y4 from Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
FHEQ Level: 7
How to apply: Via DSS
Applications open: From 1 June 2017
Applications close: TBC
August resit opportunity: No
Approximate places available to students from other departments: TBC
Historic number of applications from students of other departments: 5
Criteria used to select students: First come, first assigned a place
Nuclear Materials I
The course will assume students have at least a basic understanding of a reactor system. The aim is then to develop an appreciation of materials issues associated with nuclear reactor technology and how this information is used when designing reactor systems. A mechanistic description of materials selection for intense radiation fields and the associated degradation mechanisms will be covered for different classes of material with a focus on the specific advantages and disadvantages. The course will then cover specific cases where materials issues have been crucial to systems performance and a variety of degradation and failure mechanisms as well as the radiation damage processes that brought about these failures. NB: Although not solely focused on water reactor systems (especially PWR) the course will be aimed at this system
Prof R W Grimes
- Review radiation types, radioactive decay and dose units.
- Discuss the mechanisms of radiation damage of nuclear materials, the units used to measure damage and the models behind them.
- Use the Kinchin-Pease Model to predict damage accumulation and its part in general chemical rate theory of radiation damage.
- Recall the types of fuel and components for the Nuclear Fuel Assembly.
- Discuss the fuel cycle and fuel fabrication
Dr M Wenman
- Explain the use of different materials (stainless steels, Ni alloys) used in a PWR primary circuit and the problems and mitigation strategies associated with them.
- Understand the microstructure and mechanical properties of ferritic steels used for reactor pressure vessels (including welded structures) and the degradation of the steels due to neutron irradiation.
- Define and explain the terms residual stress, primary stress and secondary stress and how they affect structural integrity assessments of nuclear plant.
- Use the FAD and Weibull analysis methods to predict failure in nuclear components.
- Describe the phenomenon of pellet-clad mechanical interactions (PCMI) in PWR and AGR systems, the pellet-clad gap, its closure, heat transfer mechanisms and their roles in PCMI.
Dr B Britton
· Outline the motivation for zirconium as a cladding in PWR environments
· Discuss alloying of zirconium for cladding materials, including the presence of microstructure in single phase and dual phase alloys and secondary phase particles (SPPs).
· Introduce deformation modes in zirconium systems and their impact on crystallographic texture evolution, including crystallographic slip and twinning.
· Discuss crystallographic texture and its importance in highly engineered systems, including how to measure texture and describe it using pole figures & Kearn’s factors.
· Introduce ageing and corrosion of zirconium in power plant systems, with a focus on hydrides, oxidation, radiation creep and growth.
· Discuss engineering decisions for tube fabrication, as well as a simple overview of the benefits and disadvantages of different joining technologies.
Introduction to Nuclear Energy 3rd year Mech Eng course very useful; knowledge of basic materials defects and the concept of microstructure very useful.
24 lectures: Autumn term
The course is examined in the summer term, and the students answer any 3 of 5 questions.
The pass mark for the MEng cohort is 40% and for the MSc courses is 50%. The module contributes 100 marks of the MEng fourth year, or a core module for MSc/MRes.