Welding of Zirconium Alloys

The welding of Zirconium Alloy components is one of the most critical manufacturing processes of Nuclear Reactor fuel. Small amounts of contamination resulting from inadequate cleanliness or from poor atmospheric control during welding may lead to diminished corrosion resistance of the weld and in severe cases to weld failure. Other weld defects such as piping, pore formation or insufficient weld penetration may also result in costly fuel failures. This Report describes the different welding processes used for the various fuel assembly components. A comprehensive discussion of welding Quality Management is included.