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Chemical interaction between uranium dioxide, boron carbide and stainless steel at 1900 °C — Application to a severe accident scenario in sodium cooled fast reactors

Abstract : For the understanding of severe accidents in sodium cooled fast reactors (SFR), it is necessary to understand two prototypic accident scenarios such as ULOF (Unprotected Loss of Flow Accident) and UTOP (Unprotected Transient OverPower). As the base knowledge, it is also important to understand high temperature chemical interaction among major core materials such as MOx fuel (MOx: mixed oxide of uranium and plutonium), steel cladding and B4C neutron absorber have to be investigated. This study aims at providing experimental data on phase formation and phase-stability at various temperature and pressure conditions. A first series of samples containing a mixture of B4C and steel were prepared to obtain a homogenous metallic solid. In a second step, these metallic samples were mixed and melted with small UO2 pieces by arc melting. Then these samples underwent a heat treatment at 1900 °C for 1 hour. EDS, EBSD and EPMA analyses were performed to identify the phases formed during the solidification. In addition, thermodynamic calculations were performed for the interpretation of the results, revealing that a carbo-reduction reaction occurs: UO2 + 2 C = 2 CO + U. A significant amount of uranium from the fuel is dissolved in the metallic liquid phase, leading to the formation of mixed borides (UM3B2, UMB4, UM4B, M=Fe,Cr,Ni). In comparison with the UO2/steel interaction, the present results show that the presence of B and C in the melt improves the wetting behaviour of the metallic liquid towards UO2.
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https://hal.univ-lille.fr/hal-03336510
Contributeur : Lilloa Université de Lille <>
Soumis le : mardi 7 septembre 2021 - 11:14:40
Dernière modification le : vendredi 10 septembre 2021 - 10:45:41

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Mathieu Garrigue, Andrea Quaini, Thierry Alpettaz, Christophe Bonnet, Emmanuelle Brackx, et al.. Chemical interaction between uranium dioxide, boron carbide and stainless steel at 1900 °C — Application to a severe accident scenario in sodium cooled fast reactors. Journal of Nuclear Materials, Elsevier, 2021, Journal of Nuclear Materials, 557, pp.153266. ⟨10.1016/j.jnucmat.2021.153266⟩. ⟨hal-03336510⟩

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