Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


Hydrogen in Zirconium: The Fertile (yet largely untilled) > Ground of Neutron Scattering to Study the Behavior of Hydrogen in LWR Fuel Cladding


Dr. Brent Heuser


Professor, University of Illinois > Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering


Thursday, March 7, 2019 at 11:00:00 AM


Boggs Building, Room 3-47


Deo, Chaitanya


Neutron scattering techniques are ideally suited to study hydrogen in various media, including metals and alloys. We have recently applied a variety of neutron scattering techniques to study many aspects of hydrogen in zirconium-based alloys used for LWR fuel cladding. Hydrogen pickup and subsequent precipitation adversely affect cladding performance. This is well understood by the nuclear engineering community. However, our work has provided new and relevant information. Two examples will be presented. The first is neutron radiography measurements that represent an indirect validation of the BISON fuel performance code. The second is a direct measurement of hydrogen diffusivity using quasi-elastic neutron scattering that demonstrates the decades-old measurements accepted by the community are not valid above 670K. My talk will begin with a brief overview of our nuclear engineering department at UIUC.


Professor Heuser has been a member of the UIUC NPRE faculty since 1994 and currently serves as Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Michigan and was a staff scientist at the University of Missouri Research Reactor for three years prior to joining the UIUC faculty. His primary areas of research include nuclear materials, Fe and Ni corrosion for LWR sustainability, hydrogen transport and phase behavior in metals including Zr-based alloys, and the behaviors of gases and metals in molten salt. He often applies advanced microanalytical analysis techniques and scattering-based techniques to the study of materials.


Meet the speaker