As a result of in-reactor corrosion during operation in nuclear reactors, hydrogen can enter the zirconium fuel cladding and precipitate as brittle hydride particles, which may reduce cladding ductility. Dissolved hydrogen responds to temperature gradients, resulting in transport and precipitation into cold spots so that the distribution of hydrides in the cladding is inhomogeneous. The hydrogen precipitation kinetics plays a strong role in the spatial distribution of the hydrides in the cladding. The precipitation rate is normally described as proportional to the supersaturation of hydrogen in solid solution. The proportionality constant, α2, for hydride precipitation in Zircaloy-4 is measured directly using in situ synchrotron X-Ray diffraction, at different temperatures and with three different initial hydrogen concentrations. The results validate the linear approximation of the phenomenological model and a near constant value of α2 = 4.5 × 10-4 s-1 was determined for the temperature range studied.
Courty, O. F., Motta, A. T., Piotrowski, C. J., & Almer, J. D. (2015). Hydride precipitation kinetics in Zircaloy-4 studied using synchrotron X-ray diffraction. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 461, 180–185. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2015.02.035