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Report No.

Steam oxidation of silicon carbide at high temperatures for the application as accident tolerant fuel cladding, an overview

Pham, V. H.  ; Kurata, Masaki ; Steinbrueck, M.*

Since the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in 2011, a considerable number of studies have been conducted to develop accident tolerant fuel (ATF) claddings for safety enhancement of light water reactors. Among many potential ATF claddings, silicon carbide is one of the most promising candidates with many superior features suitable for nuclear applications. In spite of many potential benefits of SiC cladding, there are some concerns over the oxidation/corrosion resistance of the cladding, especially at extreme temperatures (up to 2000$$^{circ}$$C) in severe accidents. However, the study of SiC steam oxidation in conventional test facilities in water vapor atmospheres at temperatures above 1600$$^{circ}$$C is very challenging. In recent years, several efforts have been made to modify existing or to develop new advanced test facilities to perform material oxidation tests in steam environments typical of severe accident conditions. In this article, the authors outline the features of SiC oxidation/corrosion at high temperatures, as well as the developments of advanced test facilities in their laboratories, and, finally, give some of the current advances in understanding based on recent data obtained from those advanced test facilities.



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