Self Passivating smart alloys
Tungsten is the material typically used as the cover layer of the inside of a fusion reactor. A failure of the reactor cooling system could lead to high temperatures in this layer, which in combination with an air ingress could leading to the formation of WO3 (Tungsten Tri-oxide) gas. As the Tungsten has been activated by neutron absorption, the gas formed is also radioactive – meaning that any leakage would be dangerous to the surrounding environment. One of the core competencies of Forschungszentrum Jülich is the development and characterization of smart self-passivating alloys that prevent the generation of WO3 in case of such accidents. This know-how is now planned to be used for the production of other smart alloys that could be suitable to enhance the durability of receivers of solar-thermic power plants.