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Multiscale investigation of corrosion deposition in high temperature high pressure water for nuclear power plants

   EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy - GREEN

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  Dr F Scenini, Dr M Curioni, Dr A Cioncolini  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

This project will primarily be based at The University of Manchester.

The performance of nuclear power plants, including Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs) can be affected by the formation of corrosion deposit. This loosely adherent corrosion products, is called CRUD from the acronym of Chalk River Unidentified Deposit where it was first observed; CRUD plays a key role in determining the out-of-core or shutdown radiation field, but they are also responsible for localized deposition on the steam generator tubing of pressurized water reactors (PWRs) nuclear power plants, reduces the heat transfer and hydrodynamic efficiency of the steam generators.

In the present project, the effects of the hydrodynamic conditions and temperature on the deposition of corrosion products on the structural materials will be investigated in simulated PWR primary water. This topic has been the focus of extensive research in recent years as part of ongoing collaboration between the University of Manchester and Rolls-Royce [e.g. see ref. 1 and 2]. To date, micro-fluidic experiments were employed to study the CRUD related phenomena. The current scientific understanding of the underpinning phenomena affecting CRUD transport within the primary circuit, and the proposed deposition mechanisms, will be extended to conditions more representative of those likely to be encountered in a power plant. Specifically, in the present project, a bespoke experimental facility that allows testing of experimental conditions closer to those experienced in real plants will be used.

The present research will explore the implementation of a large scale hydraulic experimental setup and inform mechanistic understanding of the interaction between the dynamic flow of the reactor coolant (high temperature, alkaline, hydrogenated water) and the structural alloys. The overall aim of the project is to generate experimental data to enhance the mechanistic understanding of deposition processes and to support the validation of a model with predictive capability for plant design, as well as materials and chemistry selection.

The research activity will benefit from the consolidated interaction between the supervisory team at UoM and Rolls-Royce staff. The experimental work will be performed in simulated reactor coolant using the Royce Institute suite for research on high-temperature high-pressure flow systems; such facilities have been specifically designed for advanced testing in simulated reactor coolant. The materials will be characterized using advanced analytical techniques available in the Electron Microscopy Centre.


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[1] J. McGrady, J. Duff, N. Stevens, A. Cioncolini, M. Curioni, A. Banks, F. Scenini, Development of a Microfluidic Setup to Study the Corrosion Product Deposition in Accelerated Flow Regions, npj Materials Degradation (nature group), npj Materials Degradation 1, Article number: 21 (2017)
[2] S. Cassineri, J. Duff, A. Cioncolini, M. Curioni, A. Banks, F. Scenini, The effect of the flow velocity and dissolved hydrogen on CRUD deposition in micro-orifices in high-temperature water, Corrosion Science, 159, (2019), 108-113
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