TSU chemists will create a new material for a fast neutron reactor

Scientists of StrAU Institute of Smart Materials and Technologies (SMTI) are developing a new composite material that is resistant to high temperatures, corrosion, and radiation. The three-layer composite is intended for the production of fuel elements for fast-neutron nuclear reactors. In addition, it can be used in aircraft and missile turbines.

- Currently, there is an increase in the production of mineral fuels in the world, but practice shows that nuclear power still has no alternative fuel competitors,- explains Irina Kurzina, director of the Institute of Smart Materials and Technologies. - Fast neutron reactors are a new era in energy, they are more effective and safer than thermal reactors. However, the radiation loads on the structures in them are much higher, therefore for the production of fuel elements, materials with special characteristics are required.

The new composites will consist of a modified V-Ti-Cr alloy, enclosed on both sides with chrome-containing steel. This combination will provide improved physicochemical properties necessary for use at ultrahigh performance parameters in the core of a nuclear reactor.

- About 20 scientists that are specialists in chemistry, physics, nanomaterials, and nanotechnologies will be involved in the project. They will have to develop a technological procedure for obtaining samples of a new class of composites, after which tests on the mechanical properties of new materials will be carried out on the basis of an industrial partner - the Engineering Chemical Technological Сenter of TSU, says Taras Dement, Research Fellow at the Innovation and Technology Center of the SPhTI.

The development of high-strength composites, which are planned to be used in the active zone of new type reactors, is carried out with the financial support of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. At the end of 2018, scientists will present the results of their work.