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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I012400/1
Title: Characterization of the atomic scale structure of yttria-based particles in oxide dispersion strengthened steels
Principal Investigator: Grovenor, Professor C
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Materials
Organisation: University of Oxford
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 07 January 2011 Ends: 06 July 2014 Value (£): 147,112
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Nuclear Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
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Summary on Grant Application Form
It has been predicted that by 2012 the UK's electricity generating capacity will no longer meet demand. Reliable large sources of electrical power will be vital for social stability and to maintain a manufacturing industry base. Nuclear fusion and advanced fission power plants have been proposed, with switch-on dates in the range 2025 (advanced fission) to 2050 (fusion). These have the potential for large-scale, clean, CO2-free power generation for generations. However, the structural materials from which the power plants' core components will be built must have high strength and toughness at high temperatures, and retain good properties for decades under severe radiation damage. Many elements ordinarily used in strong alloys cannot be used because their transmutation products are highly radioactive for thousands of years, so we must design new strong alloys using a very restricted range of elements. Second, helium is produced in most reactions, and adds to the embrittling effects of the radiation damage.Oxide Dispersion Strengthened alloys are a relatively new class of steels that are expected to play an important role as structural materials in future generations of nuclear reactors (the so-called GenIV reactors). These alloys offer much improved performance than more conventional structural steels at the temperatures above 600 C that will be experienced in these new reactor designs. However, there are a number of issues that are very poorly understood in these alloys.- When, and at what rate, the dispersions are generated during thermo-mechanical processing- What the interface chemistry and atomic structure is- What effect this interface has on absorbing the products of irradiation- How best to integrate modelling to help understand both fabrication mechanisms and radiation resistance.This project is to combine fabrication expertise in the Indira Ghandhi Centre for Atomic Research in Kalpakkam, atomic scale characterisation expertise in Oxford and IGCAR and at the Diamond facility at the Rutherford Appleton Laboaratory, and the modelling expertise at Loughborough, to undertake a programme of work to explore the fundamental metallurgy of ODS materials with the aim of designing new alloys with improved properties.
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Organisation Website: http://www.ox.ac.uk