Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika

The peer-reviewed scientific and technology journal. ISSN: 0204-3327

The Steam-Hydrogen-Based Method for Reproducing Oxygen Thermodynamic Activity in Lead-Containing Alloys to Verify Oxygen Activity Sensors

12/14/2022 2022 - #04 Chemistry, physics and technology of reactor coolants

Sadovnichiy R.P. Skomorokhov A.N. Legkikh A.Yu. Askhadullin R.Sh. Lotov V.S.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2022.4.08

UDC: 621.039.564

The addition of oxygen to the coolant is of decisive importance in modern lead-based coolant technology in order to ensure the corrosion resistance of structural steels. In the initial period of developing heavy liquid metal coolants, the content of oxygen additives in them was generally controlled by taking samples with their subsequent analysis. Later on, more efficient control methods were developed and implemented based on the use of electrochemical sensors with a solid oxygen-conducting electrolyte. To date, IPPE specialists are actively developing sensors on solid electrolytes for monitoring oxygen in lead-based liquid metals (LLMs). A significant set of R&D has been carried out to improve the design and manufacturing technology of solid electrolyte sensors. An equally important task is to develop and create installations for testing oxygen activity sensors, which will make it possible to reproduce the unit of oxygen activity in liquid-metal lead-containing melts with the required accuracy.

This paper presents the results of developing a technique and installation for reproducing oxygen thermodynamic activity. The authors consider the possibility of using steam-hydrogen gas mixtures to control the oxygen content in lead and lead-bismuth melts. The results of this work include: (1) a technique for reproducing the level of thermodynamic activity of oxygen in a lead melt using steam-hydrogen gas mixtures; (2) an installation (certified as a reference) for reproducing the unit of oxygen thermodynamic activity (TDA) using steam-hydrogen gas mixtures (the range of reproducing oxygen activity is from 1⋅10–6 to 1); and (3) the estimated accuracy of the oxygen TDA reproduction method.

The results of experiments on developing the technique for reproducing oxygen TDA in the lead alloy are presented. A series of experiments was carried out to determine oxygen TDA using oxygen activity sensors. The feasibility of using the reference installation for verifying oxygen activity sensors was also shown and confirmed. Finally, the deviation of oxygen TDA, measured by oxygen activity sensors, from oxygen TDA, produced by the installation, was calculated.


  1. Gulevsky V.A., Martynov P.N., Orlov Yu.I., Chernov M.E. Promising Methods for Monitoring the Condition of Heavy Heat Carriers. Proc. of the Russian Interdisciplinary Conference «Heat and Mass Transfer and Properties of Liquid Metals». Obninsk. IPPE JSC Publ., 2002, p. 190 (in Russian).
  2. Martynov P.N., Chernov M.E., Gulevsky V.A., Provorov A.A. Development of a Capsule-Type Electrochemical Sensor for Monitoring Oxygen in Heavy Carriers. Atomic Energy. 2005, v. 98, iss. 5, pp. 343-346. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10512-005-0215-5 .
  3. Shmatko B.A., Shimkevich A.L., Blokhin V.A. Corrosion Diagnostics and Control of Technological Processes by Activometry Methods in the Lead-Bismuth Coolant. Proc. of the Conference «Heavy Liquid Metal Heat Carriers in Nuclear Technology». Obninsk. IPPE JSC Publ., 1999, v. 2, p. 741-746 (in Russian).
  4. Kebadze B.V., Martynov P.N., Kornilov V.P., Gulevsky V.A., Chernov M.E. Sensors and control systems of heavy heat carriers. Proc. of the Conference «Heavy Liquid Metal Heat Carriers in Nuclear Technology». Obninsk. IPPE JSC Publ., 2003, p. 24. (in Russian).
  5. Chernov M.E. Capsule3Type Sensor for Monitoring Oxygen in the Circuits of Nuclear Power Plants with Lead and Lead3Bismuth Heat Carriers. Cand. Sci. (Engineering) Diss. Obninsk. IPPE JSC Publ., 2005, 173 p. (in Russian).
  6. Martynov P.N., Gulevsky V.A. Chernov M.E. Experience of Using Laboratory Sensors Oxygen Activity in Experiments on the Topic «BREST». Proc. of the Branch Scientific and Technical Seminar «Studies of Thermal Hydraulics and Lead Technology in Relation to the BREST3OD3300 Reactor Installation Project». Obninsk. IPPE JSC Publ., 2001, p. 56 (in Russian).
  7. Martynov P.N., Chernov M.E., Shelemetyev V.M. Capsule solid-electrolyte sensors for oxygen monitoring. Novye Promyshlennye Tekhnologii. 2004, no. 3, p. 26 (in Russian).
  8. Storozhenko A.N., Chernov M.E., Shelemet’ev V.M., Sadovnichy R.P., Balakhanov M.V., Ukolov A.A., Davydova E.V., Staheev A.A. The Metrological Service: Features of Metrological Verification of Oxygen Activity Sensors in Molten Metal Heat-Transfer Agents. Measurement Techniques . 2013, v. 56, pp. 831-836; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11018-013-0291-1 .
  9. Martynov P.N., Askhadullin R.S., Orlov Yu.I., Storozhenko A.N. Modern Problems and Tasks of Heavy Liquid Metal Coolant Technology for NPP (Nuclear Power Plant) (Lead, Lead-Bismuth). VANT. Ser. Yadernye i Reaktornye Konstanty. 2015, iss. 2, pp. 60-69 (in Russian).
  10. Muller G, Schumacher G, Zimmermann F. Investigation on Oxygen Controlled Liquid Lead Corrosion of Surface Treated Steels. Journal of Nuclear Materials. 2000, v. 278, pp. 85-95; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-3115(99)00211-1 .
  11. Gulevsky V. A., Martynov P. N., Orlov Yu. I., Chernov M. E. Application of Mixtures of Hydrogen and Water Vapor in the Technology of Heavy Heat Carriers. Proc. of the Conference «Heavy Liquid3Metal Coolants in Nuclear Technologies». Obninsk. IPPE JSC Publ., 1999, v. 2, pp.712-719 (in Russian).
  12. Ning Li. Active control of oxygen in molten lead–bismuth eutectic systems to prevent steel corrosion and coolant contamination. Journal of Nuclear Materials. 2002, v. 300, pp. 73-81. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-3115(01)00713-9 .
  13. Glushko V.P. Thermodynamic Properties Of Individual Substances. Reference Edition in Four Volumes. Moscow. Nauka Publ., 1978, 4000 p. (in Russian).
  14. Gulevsky V.A., Martynov P.N., Orlov Yu.I., Teplyakov Yu.A., Ulyanov V.V., Fomin A.S. Physico-chemical processes in Pb and Pb-Bi heat carriers during steam generator leaks. Novye Promyshlennye Tekhnologii. 2011, no. 1, pp.21-26 (in Russian).
  15. MI 2083-90 GSI. Measurements are indirect. Determination of measurement results and estimation of their errors. Moscow. Izdatel’stvo Standartov Publ., 1991, 11 p. (in Russian).
  16. Certificate of Type Approval of Measuring Instruments OS.S.31. 098.A No. 76011. Registration Number 77046-19. Available at: https://fgis.gost.ru/fundmetrology/registry/4/items/376859 (accessed Sep. 13, 2022) (in Russian).
  17. Blokhin V.A., Budylov E.G. Liquid metal reference electrodes for oxygen sensors. Proc. of the Interdisciplinary Conference «Thermophysics-91», Nov. 12-15, 1991. Obninsk. IPPE JSC Publ., 1993, pp. 50-55 (in Russian).
  18. Gromov B.F., Shmatko B.A. Oxidative Potential of Lead-Bismuth Melts. Izvestia Vysshikh Uchebnykh Zawedeniy. Yadernaya Energetika. 1997, no. 6, pp. 14-18 (in Russian).
  19. Kulikov I.S. Thermodynamics of Oxides: Handbook. Moscow. Metallurgiya Publ., 1986, 344 p. (in Russian).
  20. Thermodynamic Properties of Inorganic Substances. Handbook. A.P. Zefirov (Ed.). Moscow. Atomizdat Publ., 1965, 233 p. (in Russian).

steam-hydrogen gas mixtures reference installation oxygen activity sensors in liquid metals oxygen thermodynamic activity coolant lead lead-bismuth verification measurement error

Link for citing the article: Sadovnichiy R.P., Skomorokhov A.N., Legkikh A.Yu., Askhadullin R.Sh., Lotov V.S. The Steam-Hydrogen-Based Method for Reproducing Oxygen Thermodynamic Activity in Lead-Containing Alloys to Verify Oxygen Activity Sensors. Izvestiya vuzov. Yadernaya Energetika. 2022, no. 4, pp. 89-101; DOI: https://doi.org/10.26583/npe.2022.4.08 (in Russian).