The Nuclear Materials and Chemistry theme is mainly focused on research activities on materials aging and degradation in nuclear power plants and nuclear facilities in the UAE environments. Most of material degradation issues in nuclear power plants are related to ‘corrosion’. For this reason, the nuclear materials and chemistry laboratory (NMCL) has equipment and facilities for conducting basic electrochemical experiments and corrosion and stress corrosion cracking (SCC) tests in the nuclear reactor and nuclear power plant environments. The laboratory facilities can reproduce the primary water condition of pressurized water reactors (PWRs) and atmospheric environments. Additionally, the laboratory is equipped with facilities for preparing metallic samples for corrosion tests and examining the surface of tests samples. This theme is planning to install a high temperature oxidation test rig for accident tolerant fuel (ATF) research in 2021.
The main equipment in this laboratory are:
- PWSCC (primary water stress corrosion cracking) loop system: The primary water condition (max. 340°C, max. 17 MPa, boric acid, lithium hydroxide, and hydrogen addition) can be simulated and oxidation SCC tests can be performed in the environment.
- Potentiostat and electrochemical cell: Basic electrochemical experiments using metallic samples can be performed.
- Humidity chamber: For simulating atmospheric environments, temperature (15 ~ 90°C) and humidity (25 ~ 98%) inside the chamber can be controlled in a programmable manner.
- Optical microscope (magnification from X50 to X1000) with image analysis program for surface examination.
- Low speed cutter with silicon carbide cutting wheel, High speed cutter with diamond cutting wheel, Grinding and polishing machine for sample preparation.