Case 14791

Method for Improving Deposition (CRUD) Resistance of Nuclear Fuel Cladding and Components

Keywords:

CRUD Induced Power Shift (CIPS), CRUD Induced Localized Corrosion (CILC), Nuclear fuel cladding, Axial Offset Anomaly (AOA), Chalk River Unidentified Deposits (CRUD), Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs)

Applications:

In nuclear power plants to increase the deposition resistance of surfaces

Problem:

    Chalk River Unidentified Deposits (CRUD) build up on fuel cladding rods.

Technology:

This invention describes ways to modify the zirconium oxide surface of nuclear fuel cladding to make it harder for nickel and iron oxides to bond to it. This can be done by forming a different compound on the surface, such as a boride, a carbide, or a nitride. These atoms (boron-11, carbon, or nitrogen) are inserted into the zirconium oxide surface mix using a variety of methods such as; an electrochemical bath, gas/plasma ion implantation, or diffusional alteration.

Advantages:
  • Stopping CRUD drom depositing on fuel rods may significantly lower radiation dose to plant workers
  • Eliminate places for boron-bearing compounds to "hide out" during reactor operation, eliminating mandatory plant power reductions
  • CRUD may lead to CRUD-Induced Localized Corrosion
  • Many plants have undergone or plan to undergo plate power uprates, which would worsen CRUD deposition

Inventors:
  • Dr. Michael Philip Short (Department of Nuclear Engineering, MIT)

Intellectual Property:

US Provisional Patent Application 61/600128 filed 2/17/2012

Publications:

Last revised: March 16, 2012

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