Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 13, 2022

Untraditional solution for enhancing the performance of U-20 % Zr metallic alloy as an ATF using liquid metal bonded gap

Mohamed Y. M. Mohsen , Mohamed A. E. Abdel-Rahman and A. Abdelghafar Galahom EMAIL logo
From the journal Kerntechnik


This study looks for innovative methods to improve the overall performance of the U-20% Zr metallic fuel. The first solution is to swap out the helium gap for a ternary liquid metal bonded gap while the second involves minimizing the helium gap’s thickness to 0.04 mm in order to minimize its thermal resistance. The proposed solutions have been subjected to neutronic, thermal-hydraulic, and solid structure investigations, and their performance has been contrasted with that of a typical U-20% Zr metallic alloy with a 0.08 mm He-gap. According to neutronic analysis, the investigated fuel materials have almost identical neutronic performance. After using the LM bonded gap, both thermal-hydraulic and solid structure performance improved significantly. The performance of the U-20% Zr with 0.04 mm He-gap was moderate and unattractive to be used since it was deduced that its drawbacks outweighed its benefits.

Corresponding author: A. Abdelghafar Galahom, Higher Technological Institute, 10th of Ramadan City, Egypt, E-mail:

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.


Ahn, S., Irukuvarghula, S., and McDeavitt, S.M. (2014). Thermophysical investigations of the uranium–zirconium alloy system. J. Alloys Compd. 611: 355−362, in Google Scholar

Balooch, M., Olander, D.R., Terrani, K.A., Hosemann, P., Casella, A.M., Senor, D.J., and Buck, E.C. (2017). Performance evaluation and post-irradiation examination of a novel LWR fuel composed of U0.17ZrH1.6 fuel pellets bonded to Zircaloy-2 cladding by lead bismuth eutectic. J. Nucl. Mater. 486: 391−401, in Google Scholar

Celiz, Z.E., Saumell, M.L., Versaci, R.A., and Bozzano, P.B. (2015). Microstructural characterization of excel zirconium alloy. Procedia Mater. Sci. 8: 442−450, in Google Scholar

Comsol (2013). COMSOL multiphysics 4.3b, user ‘s guide. Stockholm, Sweden, Available at: in Google Scholar

Cornet, S. (2015). Handbook on lead-bismuth eutectic Alloy and lead properties, materials compatibility, thermal-hydraulics and technologies-edition. OECD, Paris.Search in Google Scholar

Denise, B., Pelowitz, D.B., Durkee, J.W., Elson, J.S., Fensin, M.L., Hendricks, J.S., James, M.R., Johns, R.C., McKinney, G.W., Mashnik, S.G., et al.. (2011). MCNPX 2.7.0 extensions (LA-UR-11- 02295). Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos.Search in Google Scholar

Gao, Y., Takahashi, M., and Nomura, M. (2015). Experimental study on diffusion of Ni in lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE). Energy Proc. 71: 313−319, in Google Scholar

Haase, V., Keller-Rudek, H., Manes, L., Schulz, B., Schumacher, G., Vollath, D., Zimmermann, H., and Keim, R. (Eds.) (1986). U Uranium. Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Berlin, Heidelberg.10.1007/978-3-662-10719-5Search in Google Scholar

Johnson, A.L., Loewen, E.P., Ho, T.T., Koury, D., Hosterman, B., Younas, U., Welch, J., and Farley, J.W. (2006). Spectroscopic and microscopic study of the corrosion of iron–silicon steel by lead–bismuth eutectic (LBE) at elevated temperatures. J. Nucl. Mater. 350: 221−231, in Google Scholar

Khairulin, R.A., Lyapunov, K.M., Mozgovoi, A.G., Stankus, S.V., and Ulyusov, P.V. (2005). Crystallization and relaxation phenomena in the bismuth–lead eutectic. J. Alloys Compd. 387: 183−186, in Google Scholar

Miyahara, S., Odaira, N., Arita, Y., Maekawa, F., Matsuda, H., Sasa, T., and Meigo, S. (2019). The analytical study of inventories and physicochemical configuration of spallation products produced in Lead-Bismuth Eutectic of Accelerator Driven System. Nucl. Eng. Des. 352: 110192, in Google Scholar

Mohsen, M.Y.M., Soliman, A.Y., and Abdel-Rahman, M.A.E. (2020). Thermal-hydraulic and solid mechanics safety analysis for VVER-1000 reactor using analytical and CFD approaches. Prog. Nucl. Energy 130: 103568, in Google Scholar

Mohsen, M.Y.M., Abdel-Rahman, M.A.E., Hassan, M.S., and Galahom, A.A. (2021). Investigating the possible advantage of using LM bonded gap instead of helium in Ap-1000 nuclear power reactor. Nucl. Eng. Des. 380: 111302, in Google Scholar

Sar, F., Mhiaoui, S., and Gasser, J. (2007). Thermal conductivity of liquid lead–bismuth alloys, possible coolants for fourth generation spallation nuclear reactors. J. Non-Cryst. Solids 353: 3622−3627, in Google Scholar

United States (2011a). Westinghouse AP1000 design control document rev. 19 – tier 2 chapter 4 – reactor – section 4.3 nuclear design, p. 89, Available at: (Accessed 13 June 2011).Search in Google Scholar

United States (2011b). Westinghouse AP1000 design control document rev. 19 – tier 2 chapter 4 – reactor – section 4.4 Thermal and hydraulic design ML11171A446, p. 42, Available at: (Accessed 13 June 2011).Search in Google Scholar

Wang, L., Zhang, Y., Huang, R., Li, Q., Peng, T., and Hong, G. (2020). Measurement and analysis of specific heat capacity of lead-bismuth eutectic. Prog. Nucl. Energy 123: 103284, in Google Scholar

Wongsawaeng, D. and Olander, D. (2007). Liquid-metal bonds for LWR fuel rods. Nucl. Technol. 159: 279−291, in Google Scholar

Wongsawaeng, D., Jumpee, C., and Jitpukdee, M. (2014). High-temperature compatibility between liquid metal as PWR fuel gap filler and stainless steel and high-density concrete. J. Nucl. Mater. 451: 276−282, in Google Scholar

Zhang, J. (2009). A review of steel corrosion by liquid lead and lead–bismuth. Corrosion Sci. 51: 1207−1227, in Google Scholar

Received: 2022-07-24
Published Online: 2022-10-13
Published in Print: 2022-12-16

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 31.1.2023 from
Scroll Up Arrow