Assurance of corrosion resistance of steels in heavy liquid metal coolants
The article is aimed at the analysis of up-to-date, experimentally-proved methods and equipment to provide conditions in the heavy liquid metal coolants for building up protective oxide coatings on the steel surface and maintaining their integrity during facility operation. Since these protective coatings are based on the oxides of steel elements, then the content of dissolved oxygen in the coolant is one of the key parameters determining their integrity. Analysis of data obtained by the Russian and foreign researchers on the oxygen solubility in liquid lead and lead-bismuth was made. This solubility is critical parameter that makes it possible to determine concentration of oxygen dissolved in heavy liquid metal coolant. There is a review of the latest developments in the area of the equipment for control of oxygen dissolved in the liquid lead and lead-bismuth, that has shown good results in the laboratory studies and has been used in the experimental facilities and test loops for justification of technology and testing components of reactor facilitiers with heavy liquid metal coolants designed in Russia (BREST-OD-300 and SVBR-100). An overview of the main mass exchanger designs (devices for controlled oxygen adding to the coolant) developed by the specialists of JSC “SSC RF – IPPE” during the recent 15 years, is presented. The answer is given to the question concerning practicability of mass exchangers application and their advantages over the gas-phase methods of oxygen adding. Design features of all types of mass exchangers are described. Results of the analysis show that highly effective and reliable devices have been created up to date, that are capable of monitoring and controlling conditions required for assuring corrosion resistance of structural steels in heavy liquid metal coolants in the long-term operation (tens of thousands hours).
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