There is a need to understand the stress corrosion cracking and mechanical properties of stainless steel 20-25-Nb AGR cladding material before and after irradiation to underpin predictions of structural integrity during transport and in storage and disposal environments. This PhD project aims to utilise real spent fuel clad materials recently provided to Bristol from the NNL Central Labs. However, as the first step, the methodology to observe and quantify cracking will be developed using surrogates such as stainless steel 304. The studentship will undertake in-situ corrosion experiments on the Bristol’s unique characterisation techniques such as high speed atomic force microscopy and high resolution digital image correlation using specially developed loading rigs to examine the aqueous corrosion behaviour of metallic systems. This will be complimented by work to develop a comprehensive, reliable, and safe technique to characterise the full mechanical behaviour of irradiated materials from micromechanical samples.
Academic Lead: Tom Scott
Researcher: Kuo Yuan
Location: University of Bristol