Boron carbide (B4C) particle-reinforced aluminum matrix composite is the key material for use as neutron absorber plate in fuel storage applications for Generation III advanced passive nuclear power plants in China. This material has once depended upon importing with various restrictions so that it has meaningful practical significance to realize the localized manufacturing for this material in China. More importantly, since it is the first time for this material to be used in domestic plant, particular care should be taken to assure the formal supplied products exhibit high stabilized and reliable service in domestic nuclear engineering. This paper initiates and proposes a principle design framework from technical view in qualification requirements for this material so as to guide the practical engineering application. Aiming at neutron absorber materials supplied under practical manufacturing condition in engineering delivery, the qualification requirements define B4C content, matrix chemistry, 10B isotope, bulk density, 10B areal density, mechanical property, and microstructure as key criteria for material performance. The uniformity assessment as to different locations of this material is also required from at least three lots of material. Only qualified material meeting all of the qualification requirements should proceed to be verified by lifetime testing such as irradiation, corrosion, and thermal aging testing. Systematic and comprehensive performance assessments and verification for process stabilization could be achieved through the above qualification. The long-term service for this neutron absorber material in reliable and safe way could be convincingly expected in spent fuel storage application in China.
Qualification Requirements Design for Neutron Absorber Plate for Spent Fuel Racks in Domestic Nuclear Power Plants
Manuscript received October 15, 2017; final manuscript received February 21, 2019; published online May 3, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Jay F. Kunze.
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Shi, Y., Ning, D., and Yang, Y. (May 3, 2019). "Qualification Requirements Design for Neutron Absorber Plate for Spent Fuel Racks in Domestic Nuclear Power Plants." ASME. ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci. July 2019; 5(3): 031901. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4043096
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