Advanced nuclear materials

Prof. Jacqueline Lecomte-Beckers – Université de Liège
Prof. Eric van Walle – Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Prof. Walter Bogaerts - Katholieke Universiteit Leuven


85,5 hours study time

26 contact hours theory

5 contact hours excersises/lab sessions/visits

0 contact hours personal work

Learning Outcomes

To review the corrosion and embrittlement degradation mechanisms of materials in nuclear environments.


  • Part 1: Functional requirements of materials in a nuclear environment (J. Lecomte-Beckers – 1 ECTS)
    • Nuclear materials: fuel, fuel cladding, moderator/reflector, coolant
    • Structural materials: reactor internals and vessel, piping, valves
  • Part 2: Corrosion and materials degradation problems in the nuclear industry (W. Bogaerts – 1 ECTS)
    • Material behaviour and material requirements
    • Technological aspects and environment-sensitive damage, with emphasis on light water reactors in general and steam generators in particular
    • Nuclear waste treatment: corrosion effects on storage and disposal
    • Advanced reactor systems (GEN IV)
  • Part 3: Advanced treatment of irradiation effects in materials: radiation damage mechanisms at microscopic level (E. van Walle – 1 ECTS)
Some of these topics are further elaborated during seminars by SCK•CEN researchers
  • Corrosion in nuclear systems - general overview (R-W. Bosch)
  • Fundamentals of radiation damage in steels: the nanoscale perspective (L. Malerba)
  • Materials issues of nuclear fuel (M. Verwerft)
  • Advanced experiments to characterize radiation damage in nuclear materials (M. Konstantinovic)

Course material and reference books

The PowerPoint presentations of the lectures are available on the BNEN website.

Other usefull references

  • Murty, K L., and Indrajit Charit. An introduction to nuclear materials : fundamentals and applications. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH, 2013
  • Konings, Rudy J., et al. Comprehensive nuclear materials. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2012.
  • Glasstone, S. & A. Sesonske, Nuclear Reactor Engineering, 4-th Ed, Vol 1, Chapman & Hall, New York, 1994  (Chapter 7: Reactor Materials, pp 406-462)

Pre-assumed knowledge or prerequisites

Courses in the following fields
  • Nuclear materials
Basic knowledge of materials science, chemistry and electrochemistry.

Grading and examination

  • Part 1: Oral examination with written preparation, closed book in first and second session
  • Part 2 and part 3: Oral examination with written preparation, open book in first and second session
  • Attendance to the seminars is compulsory