Interaction between B4C, 304 stainless steel, and Zircaloy-4 in H2O/H2 atmosphere at 1473 K

Xu Gao, Ryosuke Sasaki, Lichun Zheng, Shigeru Ueda, Sun joong Kim, Shin ya Kitamura, Yoshinao Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The control blade and the fuel rod installed in channel box melt in steam during severe accident of a boiling water reactor. In order to clarify the melting phenomena and relocation of the structural material in the core of the reactor, interaction and melting behavior among B4C, 304 grade of stainless steel (SST), and Zircaloy-4 in atmosphere containing H2/H2O at 1473 K are investigated. The results showed that the reaction at the interface between B4C and SST under H2O atmosphere was slow and an oxidation was observed after 3600 s. Under H2O/H2 atmosphere, the concentration of B and C in the SST increased and the SST melted. Despite the atmosphere, an oxide layer formed on the surface of Zircaloy-4, and thus the reactions proceeded slowly when the Zircaloy-4 was contacted with B4C and SST. Under H2O atmosphere, continuous oxidation happened to SST, and SST was partially melted. Under H2 atmosphere, the SST was also melted due to the diffusion of B and C from the B4C. In addition, the oxidation of B4C affected the oxidation behavior of SST and Zircaloy, and thus the oxidation and the hydroxylation of B4C in a severe accident was discussed thermodynamically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-409
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nuclear Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 3


  • BC
  • melting
  • oxidation
  • stainless steel
  • steam
  • Zircaloy


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