News & Media

16 results found
Filtered by Emergency Response, Fuel Cycle Research, Grid Architecture, and Subsurface Energy Systems
JUNE 20, 2016
Web Feature

Keeping Fast Reactor Steel in Shape

In fast-neutron reactors, fuel is sealed in ~7 millimeter diameter steel tubes called cladding. When a high-energy "fast" neutron strikes an atom in the steel, it can knock the atom out of place, like a cue ball striking another billiard ball. This leaves two types of damage in the metal: an empty spot where the atom was, and the displaced atom wedged between other atoms. Over time, these defects typically drive undesirable rearrangement of the microstructure, potentially reducing the life of the cladding.