Xiang Li
PhD student tudelft in 2019

Main project: Corrosion study of the BR1 fuel in highly alkaline conditions
Funding: SCK
Supervisor(s): Thomas Pardoen

Natural unalloyed metallic uranium, coated with an AlSi bonding layer and an U(Al,Si)3 anti-diffusion layer, and encapsulated ultimately in an aluminum container, is used as nuclear fuel of Belgian Reactor 1. One feasible solution for the long-term management of these fuels, which will eventually become waste, is the geological disposal in which a direct embedding of these spent fuels in a cement-based material could be used. The main goal of my PhD thesis is to investigate the corrosion behavior of BR1 fuel in a cement-based material. The influences of different cement types (Ordinary Portland Cement, Magnesium Phosphate Cement, etc.) on the corrosion process are compared. The roles of cement porosity in the corrosion process is evaluated and the corrosion inhibition ability of additives such as lithium nitrate and Blast Furnace Slag (BFS) is examined. In this research, Gas Chromatography (GC) and electrochemical techniques involving Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS), Linear Polarization Resistance (LPR) are applied to monitor the corrosion rate. Electron microscopes (TEM, SEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are used to analyze the corrosion products. Micromechanical techniques will be used to evaluate the local mechanical properties of the corrosion products and determine the resistance to cracking. Furthermore, other methods such as corrosion stimulation and more characterization techniques e.g. XPS, FTIR could be utilized if necessary.

IMMC main research direction(s):
Processing and characterisation of materials


Research group(s): IMAP
Collaborations: Bruno Kursten and Caes Sebastien in SCK

Recent publications

See complete list of publications


1. Li, Xiang. Molecular and evolutionary insights into sexual marine mammals and asexual bdelloid rotifers, prom. : Van Doninck, Karine, 27/01/2012.