Report calls for more R&D into material degradation

Published on: Author: SINDRI Editor

A new report has called for co-ordinated action to address the significant degradation challenges that affect performance, operational life, and sustainability of nuclear power plants.

The ‘Degradation in structural materials for net-zero’ report presents the results of a landscaping exercise conducted by the Henry Royce Institute and Frazer-Nash Consultancy, supported by the Institute of Corrosion.

It noted that in order to achieve global challenges such as reaching Net Zero by 2050, strategic investment in research, development and innovation will be needed to ensure technology can be delivered in a timely manner. This includes plant life extension as well as the design of advanced modular reactors, which will operate at higher temperatures and therefore require even greater understanding of degradation issues.

SINDRI developing digital tools for component assessment and modelling

Speaking to Reuters, SINDRI Principal Investigator Professor David Knowles said:

“One of the biggest challenges with managing degradation in a large thermal plant is when you get a large number of transients – significant load changes with starting and stopping.  These will cause thermal expansion and contraction through thermal gradients which can generate significant cyclic stresses, which ultimately drive mechanisms such as fatigue; exacerbated in the presence of corrosive environments and high temperatures”.

Knowles added:

“We also need the development of the right sensors and monitoring equipment for the operating plant, which feed key information back into any digital twin being developed.

The ultimate digital twin runs alongside the actual plant. We’re not quite there yet, but it’s being developed as we go”.


Read the full Reuters article here

View the ‘Degradation in structural materials for net-zero’ report