A new review summarizing the effect of high-energy processing of zirconium and its alloys has been published in the Nuclear Engineering and Design journal
Continuing a research cycle on summarizing results of the effect of high-energy processing on zirconium and its alloys ( https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pnucene.2021.103630 and https://doi.org/10.1016/j.net.2020.10.005 ), Mikhail Slobodyan, a Research Fellow at the Laboratory for Advanced Technologies of the TSC SB RAS, has published a review entitled ‘High-energy surface processing of zirconium alloys for fuel claddings of water-cooled nuclear reactors’ https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nucengdes.2021.111364 in a high-ranking journal ‘Nuclear Engineering and Design’.
Its relevance is justified by the fact that zirconium alloys are one of the main structural materials for the manufacture of nuclear fuel cladding for water-cooled reactors. Their functional properties greatly depend, among other things, on the characteristics of the surface. In this regard, a significant number of studies have been devoted to their modification in recent years. In particular, they are aimed at solving one of the most urgent challenges in the operation of fuel cladding made of zirconium alloys, which is the risk of possible loss-of-coolant accident (LOCA). Due to this fact, the accident tolerant fuel (ATF) concept has been developed, which includes deposition of protective coatings and/or high-energy processing of the cladding surfaces. To date, many results have been published in this field of science, including laser processing, irradiation with a high-current pulsed electron beam, ion implantation, as well as plasma treatment. However, these data have not been summarized and analyzed from the point of view of the feasibility of implementation for these purposes. The review aims to fill this knowledge gap. It is focused on critical understanding achievements, misperceptions, as well as issues and prospects for further improving the technologies. In conclusion, the most relevant areas of research in this science area are proposed.