Skip to main content

Advanced nuclear materials

Prof. Steven Van Dyck - KU Leuven


90 hours study time

26 contact hours theory

5 contact hours exercises/laboratory sessions/visits

0 hours additional personal work (reading etc.)

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

  • Part 1: Advanced treatment of irradiation effects in materials: radiation damage mechanisms at microscopic level (S. Van Dyck – 0.5d)

    • Impact of radiation damage on the compliance of the material to their functional requirements

    • Radiation induced hardening and embrittlement
    • Radiation induced swelling
    • Radiation creep
    • Introduction stainless steels and effects of irradiation
    • Relevant non-radiation related phenomena in nuclear systems

    Part 2: Corrosion and materials degradation problems in the nuclear industry (R.W. Bosch – 1d)

    • Water chemistry of LWRs

    • Uniform corrosion issues and Environmentally Assisted Cracking (EAC) with emphasis on LWRs

    • Corrosion control and mitigation

    • Case histories

    • Visit and laboratory session to the SCK CEN research infrastructure

    • Visit of the autoclave lab for corrosion testing

    Part 3: Application to reactor pressure vessel integrity (0.5d)

    Part 4: Zirconium alloys and their use as fuel cladding (0.5d)

    Some of these topics are further elaborated during seminars by SCK CEN experts

    • Fundamentals of radiation damage in steels: the nanoscale perspective (G. Bonny)
    • Materials issues of nuclear fuel (M. Verwerft)
    • Advanced experiments to characterize radiation damage in nuclear materials (M. Konstantinovic)
    • Generation IV (S. Gavrilov)

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

    Other usefull 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).

    • Cahn, R.W., Haasen, P., Kramer, E.J., Materials Science and Technology, Volume 10 B, Volume editor Frost B.R.T. , Chapters 7-9

    • F. Somville, R. Gérard, S. Vancluysen, D. Bertolis, D. Martens, J. Bracke, R.W. Bosch, Management of nickel-based alloy butt welds in the reactor coolant system of Belgian NPPs,  In: FONTEVRAUD 9, 2018, Avignon, France.

    • F. Somville, R. Gérard., R.W. Bosch, D. Bertolis, S. Vissers, Ageing Management of Baffle Former Bolts in Belgian Nuclear Power Plants.- In: FONTEVRAUD 8 – 2014, Avignon, France.

    • G. S. Was, University of Michigan, USA and P. L. Andresen, General Electric Global Research, USA, “Radiation damage to structural alloys in nuclear power plants: mechanisms and remediation” – In Structural Alloys for Power Plants Operational Challenges and High-Temperature Materials Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy 2014, Pages 355-420

    • Wallin, Kim. (1998). Master Curve Analysis of Ductile to Brittle Transition Region Fracture Toughness Round Robin Data (The Euro Fracture Toughness Curve). VTT Publications.

  • Courses in the following fields

    • Nuclear materials

    Basic knowledge of materials science, chemistry and electrochemistry.

    • Oral examination with written preparation, open book in first and second session
    • Attendance to the seminars is compulsory.
    • The grade will be determined by weighing the grades on the separate parts, in proportion to the number of ECTS per part. In case of a failure for one of the parts, the examination committee can decide to penalize by lowering the final grade.
    • The examination of the separate parts of this course can be scheduled on multiple days.

Share this page