Light water reactors (LWRs) are the predominant class of nuclear power reactors in operation today; however, ageing and degradation can influence both their performance and lifetime. Knowledge of these factors is therefore critical to safe, continuous operation. Materials ageing and degradation in light water reactors provides a comprehensive guide to prevalent deterioration mechanisms, and the approaches used to handle their effects.

Part one introduces fundamental ageing issues and degradation mechanisms. Beginning with an overview of ageing and degradation issues in LWRs, the book goes on to discuss corrosion in pressurized water reactors and creep deformation of materials in LWRs. Part two then considers materials’ ageing and degradation in specific LWR components. Applications of zirconium alloys in LWRs are discussed, along with the ageing of electric cables. Materials management strategies for LWRs are then the focus of part three. Materials management strategies for pressurized water reactors and VVER reactors are considered before the book concludes with a discussion of materials-related problems faced by LWR operators and corresponding research needs.

With its distinguished editor and international team of expert contributors, Materials ageing and degradation in light water reactors is an authoritative review for anyone requiring an understanding of the performance and durability of this type of nuclear power plant, including plant operators and managers, nuclear metallurgists, governmental and regulatory safety bodies, and researchers, scientists and academics working in this area.

Key Features

  • Introduces the fundamental ageing issues and degradation mechanisms associated with this class of nuclear power reactors
  • Considers materials ageing and degradation in specific light water reactor components, including properties, performance and inspection
  • Chapters also focus on material management strategies


Researchers and practitioners in the nuclear power industry, process industry (chemical plants, petrochemical)and aerospace; Academics and researchers in nuclear engineering fields

Table of Contents

Contributor contact details

Woodhead Publishing Series in Energy



Chapter 1: Overview of ageing and degradation issues in light water reactors (LWRs)

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Degradation mechanisms and materials ageing issues in nuclear steam supply systems (NSSS)

1.3 Radiation effects

1.4 Degradation mechanisms of specific nuclear reactor structures

1.5 Conclusions

Chapter 2: Corrosion in pressurized water reactors (PWRs)


2.1 Introduction

2.2 Pressurized water reactors and the main types of corrosion

2.3 Major components experiencing corrosion

2.4 Conclusion

Chapter 3: Creep deformation of materials in light water reactors (LWRs)


3.1 Introduction

3.2 Standard creep equations

3.3 Identifying the mechanisms of creep

3.4 Rate controlling mechanisms and activation energy

3.5 Transitions in creep mechanisms

3.6 Modeling creep life: extrapolation of strain and rupture data

3.7 Case studies illustrating the role of other factors

3.8 Creep of zirconium alloys used for LWR cladding

Chapter 4: Properties of zirconium alloys and their applications in light water reactors (LWRs)


4.1 Introduction

4.2 Fuel assembly designs

4.3 Effects of irradiation on zirconium alloys

4.4 Mechanical properties of zirconium alloys

4.5 Corrosion of zirconium alloys

4.6 Dimensional stability of zirconium alloys

4.7 Future trends and research needs

4.8 Sources of further information

4.9 Acknowledgements

Chapter 5: Performance and inspection of zirconium alloy fuel bundle components in light water reactors (LWRs)


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Materials performance during normal operational conditions

5.3 Materials performance duri


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© 2013
Woodhead Publishing
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About the editor

K L Murty

K. L. Murty is a professor of nuclear engineering and materials science at North Carolina State University, USA, and a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society and the American Society for Materials International. Professor Murty has extensive experience in the field and has published over 290 technical papers on related topics. He was the first recipient of the ANS Mishima Award for outstanding research in nuclear materials.