Choice of Materials and Their Performance
Fast breeder reactor (FBR) technology involves a multidisciplinary approach to solve the various challenges in the areas of fuel and materials development. Fuels for FBRs have significantly higher concentration of fissile material than in thermal reactors, with a matching increase in burn-up. The design of the fuel is an important aspect that has to be optimized for efficient, economic, and safe production of power. FBR components operate under hostile and demanding environment of high neutron flux, liquid sodium coolant, and elevated temperatures. Resistance to void swelling, irradiation creep, and irradiation embrittlement are therefore major considerations in the choice of materials for the core components. Structural and steam generator materials should have good resistance to creep, low-cycle fatigue, creep-fatigue interaction, and sodium corrosion.