As the service environment for core materials for Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) becomes more severe due to increases in water temperature, changes in water chemistry, longer cycle lengths and higher burnups; the corrosion performance of Zircaloy-4 which is used for fuel cladding and structural components becomes more important. The standard three day, 400°C steam autoclave test which has been used to evaluate the uniform corrosion resistance of Zircaloy-4 is no longer sufficient. Some cladding which has given acceptable results in this test has not exhibited satisfactory in-reactor corrosion performance. A series of cladding types for which in-reactor corrosion measurements are available has been subjected to extended autoclave testing in steam at 400 and 415°C. A better correlation to the in-reactor performance is obtained if the 400 °C test is extended to at least 100 days or if the test temperature is raised to 415°C. At 415°C, a test duration of three days is best for evaluating Zircaloy-4 since extended time does not improve the correlation.
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