Effect of UV Irradiation on Corrosion of Nuclear Materials

People involved in the project

Taeho Kim

Credentials: Senior research scientist at Korean Atomic Energy Research Institute

Email: taeho.kim@wisc.edu

UV effect on Zr corrosion


The most studies on zirconium corrosion behavior were conducted with ex-situ experiments, so there is a lack of in-situ irradiation effects on the corrosion of zirconium alloy. There are various types of irradiation sources like neutron, gamma rays, beta rays, ultraviolet (UV) light, and fission fragments. Due to the Cherenkov Effect, photons are produced in the water near the fuel cladding, and they excites the electrons in the zirconium oxide film, resulting in the electrochemical response [1]. It has been known that UV irradiation on oxide film can influence on the early stages of oxide growth, because of the limited penetration of UV light into zirconium oxide films [2].

In this project, the research will focus on the development of in-situ techniques that can be applied to the corrosion characteristic of zirconium alloy. The zirconium alloy samples are centered in front of sapphire window with UV illumination for several months. The growth and resistivity of zirconium oxides are characterized in-situ by Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) and are compared to un-irradiated sister samples.



A Schematic for in-situ EIS experiment of Zr alloy with UV irradiadtion



[1] Y.-J. Kim, R. Rebak, Y.-P. Lin, B. Cheng, D. Lutz, D.C. Crawford, A. Kucuk, Photoelectrochemical Investigation of Radiation-Enhanced Shadow Corrosion Phenomenon, Zircon. Nucl. Ind. 16th Int. Symp. (2012) 91–117.

[2] B. Cox, Some thoughts on the mechanisms of in-reactor corrosion of zirconium alloys, J. Nucl. Mater. 336 (2005) 331–368.

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