Recently, the Belgian government gave the green light to the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre to start constructing MYRRHA, the first high power accelerator driven research reactor in the world. One of the primary objectives of MYRRHA is to demonstrate transmutation of spent nuclear fuel. Transmutation can help solve problems posed by the management of radioactive waste by strongly reducing its volume and the proportion of long-lived isotopes it contains.
In MYRRHA, liquid lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) will be used as a primary coolant. Among various sources, corrosion products dissolved from fuel cladding and structural steels are expected to be a major source of solid and dissolved impurities in the coolant. Removal of these solid particles and dissolved impurities from the liquid metal is of primary importance for stable and long term operation of MYRRHA.
In order to predict the effect of corrosion products on the operation of MYRRHA, to design an optimal coolant purification systems, and to develop mitigation methods the accurate measurment of corrosion products is required.
The main objective of this work is the development of electrochemical sensors for the measurement of dissolved corrosion products in liquid LBE. These sensors will be used to study the chemistry of corrosion product impurities such as Ni, Fe, Cr and Mn in LBE using electrochemical methods. This will allow determining key corrosion product chemical properties in LBE and characterizing compound formation. This information will be used in models to simulate corrosion product behavior in the primary system of MYRRHA.