Investigating the affect of chlorine carbides on fracture toughness in zirconium alloys used for nuclear applications - Year two

Zirconium alloys are used extensively in nuclear reactor cores for key components such as fuel assemblies and pressure tubes. It is extremely important that the in-service behavior of these components is well characterized to ensure they remain fit-for-service. This work will investigate the relationship between harmful impurity elements, specifically chlorine, and the fracture toughness of a zirconium alloy, Zr-2.5Nb. It is known that chlorine results in the formation of tiny precipitates, which are particularly damaging because they tend to cluster and form elongated voids, termed fissures.

Investigating the affect of chlorine carbides on fracture toughness in zirconium alloys used for nuclear applications

Zirconium alloys are used extensively in nuclear reactor cores for key components such as fuel assemblies and pressure tubes. It is extremely important that the in-service behavior of these components is well characterized to ensure they remain fit-for-service. This work will investigate the relationship between harmful impurity elements, specifically chlorine, and the fracture toughness of a zirconium alloy, Zr-2.5Nb. It is known that chlorine results in the formation of tiny precipitates, which are particularly damaging because they tend to cluster and form elongated voids, termed fissures.

Artificial Neural Net for He nano-bubble identification in structural materials for nuclear power applications

Nuclear power plants provide stable, carbon-free electricity to Canadians. In order to ensure their safe operations, materials in the reactors must be characterized on a regular basis. This project aims at developing an Artificial Intelligence—an artificial neural network—with the aim of automating the indentification of helium bubbles in Ni-based alloys currently in use in Canadian Nuclear power plants. These bubbles have a diameter of the order of nanometers, and can be observed using transmission electron microscopes. Currently, the analysis of the micrographs is done manually.