Fourth International Workshop on Structural Materials for Innovative Nuclear Systems (SMINS-4)

The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) is organising the Fourth International Workshop on Structural Materials for Innovative Nuclear Systems (SMINS-4) in cooperation with IAEA and, with the support of the EERA Joint Programme on Nuclear Materials (JPNM) and the FP7/MatISSE project. The workshop will be held in Manchester, UK from 11 to 14 July 2016, hosted by the University of Manchester.


Materials research is a field of growing relevance for innovative nuclear systems, such as Generation IV reactors, critical and sub-critical transmutation systems and fusion devices. For these different systems, structural materials are selected or developed taking into account the specificities of their foreseen operational environment. However, material development projects require both cross-cutting research programmes and advanced experimental/simulation facilities so as to characterise and evaluate the performance of the selected materials.

This purpose of this workshop was to stimulate an exchange of information on current materials research programmes for different innovative nuclear systems with a view to identifying and developing potential synergies.


The workshop covered fundamental studies, modelling and experiments on innovative structural materials including cladding materials for the range of advanced nuclear systems such as thermal/fast systems, sub-critical systems, as well as fusion systems.

Five topics were suggested:

  1. Fundamental studies
  2. Metal Alloys
  3. Ceramic and Ceramic Composites
  4. Advanced Materials and Processing/Joining
  5. Ion vs. neutron irradiation

Fundamental studies focuses on the identification of mechanisms driving the response of materials under the conditions expected in innovative nuclear systems. These mechanisms may act at the atomic or at a higher scale and the application of multiscale approaches, together with related problems of scale bridging or numerical methods are of special interest. Moreover, irradiation experiments and subsequent characterisation of materials with analytical techniques are included in the session if it is aimed at better understanding the acting mechanisms or drawing physics-based correlations.

Metal Alloys, Ceramic and Ceramic Composites included in- and out-of-core applications taking into account the scope of data availability and gaps (considering also licensing issues); experimental and modelling needs for specific components or degradation modes; the link between R&D, standardisation and experimental protocols; coolant effects and mechanical properties. Discussions on code development and implementation plans were also of interest. Application of SiC composites to LWR systems was of interest as an advanced concept.

Advanced materials may have included nano-grained materials, grain boundary engineered materials, nano-precipitation-strengthened materials and micro-laminates, processing and joining among other topics. Processing and Joining focused on novel and advanced methods for the production and joining of materials for innovative nuclear systems.

The Ions vs. neutron irradiation topic focused on specific irradiation comparisons including mechanical properties and microstructural effects caused by ion or neutron irradiation. Comparative irradiation studies on a common material were also welcome.

Please note that fuel-cladding interaction was not covered in this edition of the workshop.


Plenary lectures and technical sessions were organised according to the five topics listed above.

A poster session covering all technical subjects was held.



  • The Joint Programme on Nuclear Materials of the European Energy Research Alliance: Coordinating Gen IV reactor materials research for a low carbon Europe, L. Malerba (JPNM)
  • Materials’ Innovations for a Safe and Sustainable nuclear in Europe (FP7 MatISSE project), A. Michaux (MatISSE)
  • Overview of MEGAPIE, Y. Dai (PSI, Switzerland)
  • The main outcomes of the IAEA Coordinated Research Project “Accelerator Simulation and Theoretical Modelling of Radiation Effects” (CRP SMoRE), Ian Swainson (IAEA)
  • GIF VHTR materials, R. Wright (INL, USA)
  • Medium and Long-term RCC-MRx Code Evolution and associated R&D needs for Innovative Reactors (CEN WS-64 Phase 2, PG2), K-F. Nilsson (JRC- Petten)


  • Development and characterization of diffusion-bonded Fe- and Ni-base alloys for the application in the advanced high-temperature reactor systems, C. Jang (KAIST, Korea)
  • Development of Advanced Ferritic Steels for Fast Reactor Applications, S. Maloy (LANL, USA)
  • The importance of the steel microstructure in the dissolution corrosion behaviour of 316L austenitic stainless steels in static LBE, K. Lambrinou (SCK-CEN, Belgium)
  • Testing and assessment methodologies for determining 1515-Ti fuel cladding material properties, K-F. Nilsson (JRC-Petten, EC)
  • Phase Stability in an Ion Irradiated Haynes 230 at High Temperatures-O. Anderoglu (LANL, USA)
  • Corrosion resistance of 316H and Super304 austenitic steels in supercritical water-L. Nádherný (Rez, Czech Rep.)
  • A Swelling Model for Fast-Reactor Cladding Materials-A. Courcelle (CEA, France)


  • ODS steels R&D for application to advanced nuclear systems, A. Kimura (Kyoto, Japan)
  • Influence of the plastic deformation on the recrystallization of Ferritic ODS alloys, B. Hary (CEA, France)
  • Report on creep and LCF-Data on ODS-Materials for GEN IV-Reactors, A. Hobt (Uni. Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Microstructural and mechanical behaviour of ODS bars and tubes-E. Oñorbe (CIEMAT, Spain)
  • Radiation Resistance of Several Novel Structural Materials Systems-S. Zinkle (Uni. Tennessee, USA)
  • MAX phase-based materials for advanced nuclear systems, T. Lapauw (KU Leuven, Belgium)
  • Ion irradiation-induced structural transitions and amorphisation tolerance in Mn+1AXn phases, Y. Wang (Peking Uni., China)
  • Mo-alloys for Advanced Reactor System Applications-B. Cheng (EPRI, USA)


  • Mo-alloys for Advanced Reactor System Applications-B. Cheng (EPRI, USA)
  • TMSR materials development: Carbide dispersed Strengthening Nickel-based alloys, H. Huang (CAS, China)


  • Cryogenic structural materials of the ITER Toroidal Field Coil structure, M. Igushi (JAEA, Japan)
  • Predicting the behaviour of tungsten as a structural material for fusion, D Mason (CCFE, UK)


  • Joining of Silicon Carbide Assemblies for Application in High Temperature Power Engineering-W. Lippmann (Uni. Dresden, Germany)
  • In-service enhancement of nuclear nanoceramics-F. Garcia-Ferré (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy)
  • In situ observation of mechanical damage in a GFR SiC-SiCfibre ceramic composite, J. Marrow (Uni. Oxford, UK)
  • Characterising the mechanical properties of SiC fibre-SiCCVI composites, N. Robheck (Uni. Manchester, UK)


  • Ab initio trained neural-network driven kinetic Monte Carlo simulations of microstructure evolution of irradiated iron alloys-L. Messina (KTH, Sweden)
  • Multi-scale simulation of the experimental response of ion-irradiated zirconium carbide: role of interstitial clustering-J-P. Crocombette  (CEA, France)
  • Microstructural similarities and differences between neutron, ion and electron irradiation of Fe-Cr, C. Pareige (CNRS, France)
  • Investigation into neutron and ion irradiated tungsten, R. Abernethy (Uni. Oxford, UK)
  • Use of self-ion irradiation to forecast the void swelling behaviour of candidate ferritic-martensitic alloys and their ODS variants at very high doses, F. Garner (Texas A&M Uni., USA)

SESSION VII: Discussion on Ion vs. Neutron Irradiation-Chair: L. Malerba

  • Accelerated Irradiation for Emulation of Radiation Damage in Reactor-G. Was (Uni. Michigan, USA)
  • How credible is ion simulation of neutron-induced changes in mechanical properties or dimensional stability of reactor structural alloys?, F. Garner (Texas A&M Uni., USA)
  • Use of electron irradiation to study radiation damage. Do electrons simulate neutrons?, J. Henry (CEA, France)
  • Roles and limitations of ion irradiation studies for understanding neutron irradiation behaviour, S. Zinkle

Poster Session I: Metal Alloys and Novel Pathways

  • Crack initiation in heavy liquid metals (F. Di Gabriele)
  • Role of purification systems in the solubility of alloying elements in heavy liquid metals (M. Dellabianca)
  • Study of the oxidation of austenitic alloys in supercritical water in comparison with liquid water and steam (A. Sáez-Maderuelo)
  • Creep-to-rupture test of T91 steel in air and liquid lead-bismuth eutectic at 500°C (R. Hernandez)
  • Microstructural characterisation of alloy 800 H irradiated with neutrons to 1.4 dpa at 500°C and 800°C (J. Gan)
  • Preliminary results of the study on the influence of oxygen concentration and temperature on the corrosion behaviour of 316L austenitic stainless steel in static LBE (O. Klok)
  • The effect of steel cold working and surface finish on the dissolution behaviour of austenitic stainless steels in contact with static LBE (E. Charalampopoulou)
  • Corrosion behaviour of Fe-Cr-Al-based alloys exposed to oxygen-containing molten lead, supercritical water and steam (A. Jianu)
  • Low-cycle fatigue, creep-fatigue and relaxation-fatigue tests on P91 (C. Cristalli)
  • Grain boundary damage mechanisms in strained AGR claddings under irradiation (C. Barcellini)
  • Development of high-temperature test facilities for material investigations in hot liquid metal flows (A. Onea)
  • Assessment of ODS ferritic alloys with different composition Nano-mechanical design for advanced nuclear energy system (Z. Zhou)
  • Compatibility of ODS steels with Pb alloys – Influence of surface melting using pulsed electron beams on localised corrosion (A. Weisenburger)
  • Submicron sized sintered ODS steels prepared by high efficient attritor milling (B.Z. Haroune Rachid)
  • Advances in modelling new exotic materials under extreme conditions (S. Cuesta-López)
  • Neutronics of MAX phase materials (C. Grove)
  • Improving the modelling of complex geometries in novel materials using 3D imaging  (Ll. M. Evans)
  • Assessment of the 475ºC-embrittlement of ODS alloys by small punch tests (M. Serrano)
  • Stabilisation of Zrn+1AlCn MAX phases by partial substitutions in the quaternary systems (Zr,M)n+1AlCn and Zrn+1(Al, A´)Cn (E. Zapata Solvas)
  • Current status of advanced radiation-resistant ODS steel (ARROS) development (T. Kyu Kim)
  • Evaluation of high-temperature mechanical property of diffusion-bonded ferritic/martensitic ODS steel (S. Hong)
  • Effects of titanium and niobium on void swelling of 15Cr/15Ni austenitic steels irradiated under ion irradiation (Y. de Carlan)

Poster Session II: Fundamentals and Ceramics and Ions vs Neutrons

  • Advanced ceramic coatings as tritium permeation barriers for fusion systems (D. Iadicicco)
  • Impact of irradiation by low energy He, Kr and Xe ions on the structure and mechanical properties of the TiMoN coating (S. Kislitsin)
  • Radiation-tolerant nanoceramic coatings for lead fast reactors (F. García Ferré)
  • An approach to improve the retention of the fission product Ag in fuel particles for High-temperature-Reactors (H. Liu)
  • Modulation of He agglomeration in metal nitrides by swift heavy ions (A. Janse van Vuuren)
  • Description of hydrogen transport through a metal wall and prediction of embrittlement risk (D. Gaude-Fugarolas)
  • Examining thermo-mechanical coupling based multi-physics in nuclear materials using a combination of electron microscopy and spectroscopy (V. Tomar)
  • Object kinetic Monte Carlo study on the comparison between ion and neutron irradiation in ferritic/martensitic steels (M. Chiapetto)
  • Effects of high-energy Fe ion irradiation on deuterium permeation and retention of RAFM steels (G.-N. Luo)
  • Nanoindentation on ion-irradiated Fe-Cr alloys with Ni, Si and P additions (C. Heintze)
  • A snapshot of the microstructural evolution of alloy 800 H under heavy ion irradiation (E.R Anderson)
  • A new approach to emulate reactor neutron irradiation by medium-mass ions with tens of MeV (Y. Fang)
  • Primary damage induced in zirconium alloys (A. Adrych-Brunning)
Workshop officials, committees and contact

Scientific and Organising Committee

Chair and co-chair: Grace BURKE (University of Manchester, UK) and James MARROW (University of Oxford, UK)

Thierry Auger (CNRS, France) Lorenzo MALERBA (SCK-CEN, Belgium)
Fanny BALBAUD (CEA, France) Stuart MALOY (LANL, USA)
Céline CABET (CEA, France)                        Pär OLSSON (KTH, Sweden)
Rachid CHAOUADI (SCKCEN, Belgium) Ji-Yeon PARK (KAERI, Korea)
Jean-Pierre CHEVALIER (CNRS, France) Manuel Alexandre POUCHON (PSI, Switzerland) 
Stéphanie CORNET (NEA) Mychailo TOLOCZKO (PNL, USA)
Yong DAI (PSI, Switzerland)         François WILLAIME (CEA, France)
Alessandro GESSI (ENEA, Italy)  

Local Organising Committee

Jane DEAKIN and Grace BURKE (University of Manchester, UK)

All correspondence with regard to the meeting should be addressed to the contacts above.


The conference was held in cooperation with the IAEA. IAEA travel grants were provided on the basis of paper selection for applicants from countries eligible to receive technical assistance under the IAEA's Technical Cooperation Programme. 

11 - 14 July 2016
University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom