Skip to main content

Nuclear materials

Prof. Marc Scibetta – Université de Liège


90 hours study time

  • 24 contact hours theory
  • 12 contact hours exercises/laboratory sessions/visits

    • To measure and assess material properties

    • To use material properties in practical application

    • To explain how material properties are affected by their environment (including radiation effects)

    • To explain the implications of material issues on the design, utilization, safety and ageing of installations in the nuclear sector

  • Part 1: Material sciences: Properties of materials in relation with their processing, micro-structure and intended performance 

    • Atoms and their interactions
    • Crystal structure and imperfections
    • Phase diagram and kinetics effects
    • Material properties (excluding radiation effect and corrosion)

    Part 2: Corrosion phenomena: 

    • Basics of electrochemistry of aqueous corrosion
    • Overview of common forms of corrosion (uniform corrosion, galvanic corrosion, pitting, stress corrosion cracking, …)
    • Methods of corrosion prevention and protection (coatings, inhibitors, cathodic protection, design against corrosion, …
    • Corrosion monitoring (electrochemical methods, electrical resistance, ..)
    • Concise overview of main corrosion problems in LWRs

    Part 3: Radiation effects in materials

    • Introduction and general principles

    • Impact at atomic scale

    • Impact at mesoscopic scale
    • Impact at macroscopic scale

    Part 4: Functional requirements of materials in a nuclear environment

    • Nuclear materials: fuel, fuel cladding, moderator/reflector, coolant
    • Structural materials: reactor internals and vessel, piping, valves

    Laboratory session on mechanical and corrosion testing within the SCK CEN research infrastructure: cold lab and hot-cells.

    Part 2 on corrosion is eventually given by an expert in the field (R. W. Bosch).

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

    Other useful references:

    • Murty, K L., and Indrajit Charit. An introduction to nuclear materials : fundamentals and applications. Weinheim, Germany: Wiley-VCH, 2013
    • William D. Callister, Jr., David G. Rethwisch Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction, 9th Edition, Wiley, 2014
    • Furio Ercolessi. A Molecular Dynamics Primer 1997  
    • T. L. Anderson  Fracture Mechanics: Fundamentals and Applications, Fourth Edition, CRC, 2017
  • Courses in the following field

    • Nuclear energy: introduction
    • Introduction to nuclear physics and measurements
    • Basic chemistry, basic material behaviour.
    • Written examination (weight 40%) open book (slides and speaker notes)

    • Oral examination (weight 40%) no preparation, open book (slides but not the speaker notes)

    • The laboratory session on mechanical testing are compulsory and cannot be repeated in second session.

    • Report on the laboratory session on mechanical testing (weight 20%).

    • The examination is normally scheduled on a single days.



Share this page