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China’s Nuclear Zirconium Core Technology Breakthrough, Helping China’s Nuclear Power Go Out

Posted by: Chris Na 2021-11-25 Comments Off on China’s Nuclear Zirconium Core Technology Breakthrough, Helping China’s Nuclear Power Go Out

China’s Nuclear Zirconium Core Technology Breakthrough, Helping China’s Nuclear Power Go Out

Category: tungsten’s News
Published on Thursday, 03 January 2019 09:17

According to the China Nuclear Group news, after eight years of technical research, China has finally broken the long-term monopoly of foreign countries and broke through the core technology of nuclear grade zirconium (N36 zirconium alloy) preparation! This breakthrough means that China has successfully mastered the complete N36 zirconium alloy engineering preparation technology with independent intellectual property rights.

So, what is the N36 zirconium alloy material used for? Is it important? Of course, it is important! Perhaps you also know that China’s important way to solve energy problems is? – Vigorously develop nuclear power! How is the development of nuclear power achieved? – Need to develop and build nuclear power plants. What is the key equipment for nuclear power plants? –nuclear reactor! What is the core of a nuclear reactor? – Nuclear fuel components.

So, is the safety and reliability of nuclear fuel components guaranteed? – To a large extent, depends on the zirconium alloy cladding. Therefore, this has achieved mass production, and successfully passed the acceptance of the N36 zirconium alloy material can be unusual. It is reported that it is China's first self-developed N36 zirconium alloy material, which can meet the requirements of three generations of nuclear power, that is, meet the CF3 nuclear fuel component material requirements, and will be used for the manufacture of CF3 nuclear fuel components! This means that we are closer to the large-scale application target of N36 zirconium alloy, which means that the key materials of China's three-generation nuclear power technology "Hualong No. 1" project will be more powerfully guaranteed. It must be said that the mass production of N36 zirconium alloy will also strongly support the implementation of China's nuclear power "going out" strategy!

So, what is the zirconium in this N36 zirconium alloy? Zirconium is an important strategic material and a "rare metal". In fact, zirconium has more content in the earth's crust than copper, lead, nickel and zinc, but its preparation process is more complicated. That is to say, it is not so easy to achieve "economically extracting zirconium". Therefore, it is called "rare metal".

Zirconium is also known as the "first metal of the atomic age." This name is not white. China has started research on zirconium metallurgy technology since 1956. In 1971, China successfully applied zirconium to nuclear power reactors. With the development of nuclear safety and reactor technology, nuclear fuel assemblies place higher demands on zirconium alloys for cladding materials. Therefore, the research and development of high-performance zirconium alloys has always been a frontier topic.

In addition, I would like to introduce another material – tungsten. Why use it? – Anti-radiation. At present, China's nuclear power plants mainly use tungsten shielding devices or lead shielding devices. Among them, tungsten materials have attracted extensive attention due to their non-toxicity and high atomic number. At the same time, the price of tungsten has been declining over the past decade, and the processing of tungsten is also making progress, providing a basis for the large-scale use of tungsten shielding materials. Then, what time will it be used? It needs to be used during nuclear power plant operation and shutdown maintenance. Because the use of temporary tungsten shielding devices to shield the radiation hot spot is a common and effective means of radiation protection.

In other words, China's tungsten reserves are the world's number one, and zirconium mineral resources are also ranked 9th in the world. In other words, China has the protection of mineral resources! There is also a huge nuclear power market in China! In addition, in the zirconium alloy material and tungsten shielding device, China has already possessed a more advanced technology level and has a relatively complete R&D and production system. China will surely become a strong producer of temporary shielding devices for zirconium and radiation hotspots, and become the world's leading research and production center for zirconium and advanced shielding devices.


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