Evaluation of SMUT Properties according to Nb Content in the Pickling Process of Nuclear Fuel Cladding Tube

핵연료 피복관의 산세 공정 시 Nb 함량에 따른 SMUT 특성

  • Received : 2019.06.25
  • Accepted : 2019.07.24
  • Published : 2019.08.27


Currently, the Korean nuclear industry uses ZIRLO as material for nuclear fuel cladding(zirconium alloy). KEPCO Nuclear Fuel is in the process of developing a HANA alloy to enable domestic production of cladding. Cladding manufacture involves multistage heat treatments and pickling processes, the latter of which is vital for the removal of defects and impurities on the cladding surface. SMUT that forms on the cladding surface during such pickling process is a source of surface defects during heat treatment and post-treatment processes if not removed. This study analyzes ZIRLO, HANA-4, and HANA-6 alloy claddings to extensively study the SEM/EDS, XRD, and particle size characteristics of SMUT, which are second phase particles that are formed on the cladding surface during pickling processes. Using the analysis results, this study observes SMUT formation characteristics according to Nb concentration in Zr alloys during the washing process following the pickling process. In addition, this study observes SMUT removal characteristics on cladding surfaces according to concentrations of nitric acid and hydrofluoric acid in the acid solution.


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