Mechanisms of localized corrosion initiation in liquid metal environment


Terryn Herman, (Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)),

SCK•CEN Mentor

Gavrilov Serguei,, +32 (0)14 33 30 67

Expert group

Structural Materials

SCK•CEN Co-mentor

Tsisar Valentyn , , +32 (0)14 33 30 92

Short project description

Development of innovative nuclear technologies and effective handling of the nuclear waste burden are among ambitions for nuclear power to support global strike against climate changes. MYRRHA project at SCK•CEN aims developing an innovative solution to sharply reduce the mass and storage duration of nuclear high-level radioactive waste. The reactor system is based on technology of heavy liquid metal coolant. The latter will be used also for GENIV LFR, for nuclear fusion and considered for concentrated solar power system.  

Compatibility of the candidate materials for functional and structural components with the hostile environment is the key issue to be resolved for successful deployment of all the systems under development. This PhD work will investigate how corrosion initiates on austenitic steels in heavy liquid metal environment.  The initiation of corrosion is very challenging subject to investigate due to very small scale of the crime scene, disappeared evidences and complex corpus delicti. Surface engineering and surface characterisation prior to exposure will be the used to identify the mechanisms of corrosion initiation. The tests will be performed in the unique research infrastructure of heavy liquid metal labs created in framework of MYRRHA project at SCK•CEN.    

The results of the work will be used for the development of corrosion mitigation approach in heavy liquid metal technology.  

The minimum diploma level of the candidate needs to be

Master of sciences , Master of sciences in engineering

The candidate needs to have a background in

Physics , background in corrosion or material science is desirable

Estimated duration

4 years
Before applying, please consult the guidelines for application for PhD.