- To assess the basic aspects of material science as they apply to nuclear systems.
- To review the basic processes of material degradation and ageing due to the nuclear environment (radiation effects, corrosion and fatigue).
Part 1: Review of most important mechanical properties of materials ( J. Lecomte-Beckers – 1ECTS)
Part 2: Corrosion phenomena: (W. Bogaerts – 1 ECTS)
- Stress-strain relationship
- Ductile and brittle fracture; ductile-brittle transition
- Fatigue failure
- Stress analysis: stress intensity, thermal stresses
- Swelling fatigue: due to thermal stresses and stratification
Part 3: Reactor pressure vessel life management (E. van Walle – 1 ECTS)
- Description and occurrence
- Electrochemical and chemical study of corrosion problems: basic equations, user diagrams and practical examples
- Detailed study of frequently occurring corrosion types (for example pitting, IGA, SCC, ...): setting and context, explanation, influences of the environment and material properties
- Methods of corrosion prevention and protection (design aspects, coatings, water treatment and inhibitors, electrochemical methods)
- Effects of radiation on corrosion (for example irradiation assisted corrosion)
- Radiation effects: general principles
- Atomic displacements
- Material degradation issues, legal context, advanced analysis and mitigation
- Fuel cladding and stainless steel degradation under irradiation
Visit and laboratory session to the SCK•CEN research infrastructure
- Visit to Belgian Reactor 2 (BR2)
- Laboratory session on mechanical testing: cold lab and hot-cells (M. Scibetta)
Course material and reference books
The PowerPoint presentations of the lectures, and extensive lecture notes, are available on the BNEN website.
Other useful references:
- Benjamin, M., Nuclear Reactor Materials and Applications, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1983
- 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 field
- Nuclear energy: introduction
- Introduction to nuclear physics and measurements
Basic chemistry, material behaviour.
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
- The visit of BR2 and laboratory session on mechanical testing are compulsory and cannot be repeated in second session.
- Report on the laboratory session on mechanical testing (10%)