• Peter Hosemann University of California at Berkeley, Department of Nuclear Engineering Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
  • Jasmina Vujić University of California at Berkeley, Department of Nuclear Engineering Berkeley, CA 94720, USA



In all engineering applications, design and materials together determine the functionality and reliability of a device. This is particularly important in nuclear systems where the materials are pushed to their limits and phenomena not present anywhere else occur. In nuclear systems a combination of high temperature and pressure, stress, corrosive environment and high radiation environment combined causes significant materials challenges. Majority of commercial LWRs today are licensed for 40 years of operation, but many of them undergo lifetime extension to 60 or possibly 80 years. Materials degradation has always been a significant issue. However, due to the lifetime plant extension, finding materials that could sustain prolonged exposure to these extreme conditions has become a significant problem. In addition to the materials challenges in current LWRs, advanced reactors usually deal with even more difficult issues due to their operational requirements. Unusual heat transport media, such as liquid metals, liquid salts or other types of coolants, lead to a whole new set of material challenges. While corrosion has been the main issue, much higher operating temperatures create additional difficulties. In this paper, we present an overview of materials issues for current and advanced nuclear reactor designs.


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