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ZIRAT

Zirconium Alloy Technology

The annual ZIRAT Programme is open to nuclear utilities and laboratories world-wide. The overall objective of the ZIRAT Programme is to enable the Members to:
  • Identify potential zirconium alloy material advantages and limitations as well as suggest solutions for current issues.
  • Gain increased understanding of material behaviour related to successful core operation.
ZIRAT is an annual programme, different from other national or international fuel materials related programmes because it offers to the member on a yearly basis the only in-depth comprehensive, periodic, timely review and analysis of all the new zirconium technology data in the public domain.  
Listen to Al Strasser why this programme is unique


“WHY DID YOU NOT EXIST IN 1965 WHEN I WAS STARTING OUT?”

KIT COLEMAN RESEARCHER EMERITUS AT ATOMIC ENERGY OF CANADA LTD, AECL.
The scientific literature continues to expand and it is difficult for one person to keep on top of it, even on what would seem to be a specialized topic like the metallurgy of zirconium. The ZIRAT Programme fills this gap by summarizing the year’s activities on topics relevant to the use of zirconium alloys in nuclear reactors. The added value of the Special Topics is the collected opinion of the experts writing and presenting the information; they highlight the significant advances, point out deficiencies in data and models and are happy to take suggestions on how to deal with controversies. The approach is unlike that at a conference, where presenters are often making cases for their point of view. Since the world mostly uses light water reactors, much of the focus and attention is rightly placed on the issues presented in PWRs and BWRs. Interpreting the information for reactors that use pressure tubes is sometimes difficult because the operating conditions and the time scales are so different. The inclusion of occasional pressure tube topics has the reverse difficulty for the LWR community. Since  both groups are dealing with zirconium, areas of overlap, such as fabrication, creep, corrosion and fracture, provide common ground for transfer of data and ideas. The ZIRAT Programme provides an excellent post-graduate course for those just starting in the field as well as helping those with more experience to keep up-to-date. The contact with an instant network of knowledgeable people through the magic of the Internet is most valuable. Why did you not exist in 1965 when I was starting out?

“ZIRAT HAS BEEN OF GREAT VALUE TO ME”

MATT EYRE EX. EXELON CORP.
ZIRAT attends and then distills the information from a number of industry conferences that I don’t have the time, budget or inclination to attend. I can then attend one meeting at a great venue with ZIRAT experts that present the information in one meeting at a pace and level that I understand. I then get a more detailed document in the annual report for reference. ZIRAT helps me maintain my technical “edge” regarding zirconium alloy performance. The annual report and special topic reports provide the document that I can cite as a reference in the resolution of technical evaluations or problems that I encounter or that are given to me. Outside of going back to a university, ZIRAT is the only structured forum that exists solely for the transfer of information by acknowledged industry zirconium alloy experts. Actually, for nuclear industry engineers, the ZIRAT seminar format is better than returning to a university (that is assuming I still remember the materials basics). The ZIRAT participants are somewhat different than the EPRI Robust Fuel Programme member participation. In meeting and break discussions, I am able to hear about plant performance issues that I don’t hear in other meetings that I attend. Since ZIRAT has a very strong European participant base, the perspective I have an opportunity to hear is different than that of my US peers. This is revealing, informative and refreshing. I am glad to be a member of ZIRAT.