Zircaloy Performance in Light-Water Reactors

    Published: Jan 1979

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    The Zircaloys-2 and -4 are the principal metallic components of light-water reactor (LWR) fuel assemblies. This paper reviews progress in our understanding of Zircaloy behavior in the LWR environment. A significant body of data has been obtained on the characteristics of stress corrosion cracking pellet-cladding interaction (PCI) failures and on the mechanical stability of both fuel rod and assembly. All indications are that the mechanical performance of Zircaloy components is well understood and that cladding and assembly distortions can be controlled to avoid problems with operation, handling, or licensing. However, uncertainties still exist in our understanding of the resistance of Zircaloy to chemical attack from both the fission product environment and the coolant. Therefore, future emphasis will be on demonstrating improved resistance to PCI of various fuel rod design/material modifications and on establishing Zircaloy waterside corrosion limits for the new, higher-temperature, pressurized water reactor (PWR) cores that might be required to operate to higher exposures.


    Zircaloy-2 and -4, boiling water reactor, pressurized water reactor, fuel assembly, fuel rod, cladding, stress corrosion cracking, creep, mechanical properties, waterside corrosion

    Author Information:

    Roberts, JTA
    Program managers, Electric Power Research Institute, Inc., Palo Alto, Calif.

    Gelhaus, FE
    Program managers, Electric Power Research Institute, Inc., Palo Alto, Calif.

    Committee/Subcommittee: B10.02

    DOI: 10.1520/STP36670S

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