Current status of materials development of nuclear fuel cladding tubes for light water reactors

Zhengang Duan, Huilong Yang, Yuhki Satoh, Kenta Murakami, Sho Kano, Zishou Zhao, Jingjie Shen, Hiroaki Abe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

160 Citations (Scopus)


Zirconium-based (Zr-based) alloys have been widely used as materials for the key components in light water reactors (LWRs), such as fuel claddings which suffer from waterside corrosion, hydrogen uptakes and strength loss at elevated temperature, especially during accident scenarios like the lost-of-coolant accident (LOCA). For the purpose of providing a safer, nuclear leakage resistant and economically viable LWRs, three general approaches have been proposed so far to develop the accident tolerant fuel (ATF) claddings: optimization of metallurgical composition and processing of Zr-based alloys, coatings on existing Zr-based alloys and replacement of current Zr-based alloys. In this manuscript, an attempt has been made to systematically present the historic development of Zr-based cladding, including the impacts of alloying elements on the material properties. Subsequently, the research investigations on coating layer on the surface of Zr-based claddings, mainly referring coating materials and fabrication methods, have been broadly reviewed. The last section of this review provides the introduction to alternative materials (Non-Zr) to Zr-based alloys for LWRs, such as advanced steels, Mo-based, and SiC-based materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-150
Number of pages20
JournalNuclear Engineering and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May 1
Externally publishedYes


  • BWR
  • Coating
  • Fuel cladding
  • LWR
  • PWR
  • SiC
  • Zr-based alloy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Mechanical Engineering


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