Microstructural investigation of interaction LBE with austenitic stainless steel

SCK•CEN Mentor

Lescur Amke, alescur@sckcen.be, +32 (0)14 33 80 12

Expert group

Conditioning and Chemistry Programme

SCK•CEN Co-mentor

Stergar Erich , estergar@sckcen.be , +32 (0)14 33 31 80


MYRRHA is short for ‘Multi-purpose hYbrid Research Reactor for High-tech Applications’ and is a first of its kind accelerator driven system currently developed at SCK•CEN. Being one of the largest research project in Belgium it will allow material developments for fusion reactors, material developments for GEN IV systems, fuel developments for innovative reactor systems and radioisotope production for medical and industrial applications. The selected primary coolant for the reactor part and at the same time also spallation target is liquid lead bismuth eutectic (LBE) which has significant safety benefits. Nevertheless, when building a new system it is essential to investigate its potential effects on structural and functional materials.  Among the challenges of using LBE as coolant is its influence on mechanical and corrosion properties of these materials.


In this internship the student will contribute with his work to a better understanding of corrosion and fracture mechanisms in heavy liquid metal environment. This internship will focus on microstructural investigation of exposed 316L material to an LBE environment.

The student will prepare and analyse 316L stainless steel samples which have been exposed to heavy liquid metal. Statistics will be applied to analyse the contact surfaces of the exposed samples. Next to this, different microstructural techniques such as light optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and electron backscatter diffraction will be used for analysing the microstructure of these samples, where the focus will be on the interaction layer between the LBE and the 316L stainless steel.

The minimum diploma level of the candidate needs to be

A2: Upper secondary school (+7th year BSO)

The candidate needs to have a background in

Physics , Chemistry