With renewed interest in nuclear energy technology over the last few years, generation IV reactor concepts like the fluoride salt-cooled molten salt reactor (MSR) has gained a lot of attention from nuclear energy startup companies across the globe and from the U.S. Department of Energy. One of the primary material challenges in these reactors is ensuring the structural material can withstand exposure to the molten fluoride coolant for the lifetime of the reactor. With two new Nuclear Energy University Program (NEUP) proposals totaling 1.6 million dollars being awarded, the University of Wisconsin-Madison will be at the forefront of material testing for molten salt reactor applications.


The goal of the Development of Corrosion Resistant Coatings and Liners for Structural Materials for Liquid Fueled Molten Salt Reactors NEUP grant is to develop corrosion-resistant coatings and liners to help protect code certified materials such as 316 stainless steel from being corroded while operating in a molten fluoride salt. Candidate coatings and liners will be selected and applied to 316 stainless steel substrates to test the compatibility of the coatings and liners with molten fluoride salts. The coatings and liners will go through rigorous corrosion and mechanical testing to ensure they maintain their mechanical integrity.


The goal of the Advanced Alloy Innovations for Structural Components of Molten Salt Reactors NEUP grant is to develop and evaluate advanced metallic alloys for use as structural components in fluoride salt-cooled reactors. These advanced alloys need to show that they can stand up to a molten fluoride salt environment by showing i) excellent corrosion resistance, ii) appropriate mechanical properties at 700 oC to be ASME Section III Division 5 code certifiable, iii) good radiation damage tolerance, and iv) good weldability. Ni-based alloys, radiation damage tolerant high entropy alloys (HEAs), refractory Mo-based alloys, and a compositionally-graded alloy will be tested in molten fluoride salts.


If you’d like to learn more about the group please contact Professor Adrien Couet.