Authors:Ivone Sato, Luiz Pereira, Marcos Scapin, Marycel Cotrim, Cristiano Mucsi, Jesualdo Rossi and Luis Martinez
Brazilian nuclear power reactor (PWR type) use, as nuclear fuel, sintered UO2 pellets with Zircaloy cladding. The cladding material has to present high mechanical strength and corrosion resistance, which
are related to the material chemical composition and microstructural characteristics. Zircaloy machining scraps were remelted
using VAR process, resulting in a billet, and its elemental composition was determined. The major elements Zr, Sn, Fe, Cr
and Ni were determined by EDXRFS; Hf and contaminants were determined by WDXRFS. The chemical analysis did not show changes
in the alloy elemental composition, except for Fe and Cr, which their out-off content can be attributed to contamination from
steel scraps. The found Cu contamination may be related to the contact of the melted Zircaloy droplets with copper crucible.
The billet microstructure was evaluated using optical and scanning electron microscopy and showed the typical zirconium alloy
microstructures (needle and plates) resulting from the high cooling rate and thermal gradients, present during the solidification.