Professor of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials

Deputy Head of Division of New Materials

hshzhao@tsinghua.edu.cn

(+86 10) 8979-6090

Education background

PhD, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Materials Science, 2001
Master, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Composite Materials, 1998
B.S., Northwestern Polytechnical University, Materials Science and Engineering, 1995

Experience

12/2019-present, Professor, Division of New Materials, INET, Tsinghua University
12/2004-11/2019, Associate Professor, Division of New Materials, INET, Tsinghua University
10/2003-11/2004, Assistant Professor, Division of New Materials, INET, Tsinghua University
09/2001-09/2003, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University

Social service

Teaching

Advanced Nuclear Fuel and Materials, Chapter: Advanced Nuclear Fuel

Journal Reviewer

Journal of the American Ceramic Society
International Journal of Applied Ceramic Technology
Journal of Advanced Ceramics
Ceramic International
Journal of Nanoparticle Research
Nanoscale Research Letters
Materials Letters
Materials Science and Engineering A
Materials Research Bulletin
Journal of Hazardous Materials
Electrochimica Acta
Tetrahedron Letters
Journal of Alloys and Compounds
Chinese Physics B
Synthetic Metals
Bulletin of Materials Science
Composites Science and Technology
Composites Part A
The Journal of Adhesion
Colloids and Surfaces A
International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives

Service to Professional Associations

Standing Member, the Irradiation Effect Branch, Chinese Nuclear Society
Senior Member at Chinese Materials Research Society

Areas of Research Interests/ Research Projects

Prof. Zhaos research interests are in the areas of research of the properties and performance of high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR) fuel; Quality control system of HTR spherical fuel elements, specially on the physical properties analysis technology; Physical properties test methods for Large-Scale Production Line of HTR spherical fuel elements; Quality control and quality assurance system for Large-Scale Manufacture Line of HTR spherical fuel elements; New type of HTR spherical fuel elements, especially with high oxidation-resistant coating; Post-irradiation examination and irradiated properties of HTR spherical fuel elements.

The properties and performance of as fabricated HTR fuel

Establish the Relationship of Materials, Manufacture Methods, Microstructure, and Properties of HTR Fuel Elements. a) To fully understand the inherent relationship and the evolution between the thermal, mechanical, corrosive, crushing, and wearing properties of HTR fuel elements, the microstructure, microhardness, compressive strength, optical anisotropy, high temperature performance of coated fuel particles with their product macroscopic performance. b) Research on the effect mechanism of the different processing methods and parameters of fuel elements on their macroscopic physicochemical properties.

Quality Control Technology and method of HTR Fuel Elements based on the large-scale manufacture

To research on new methods: In combination with the development of the current materials analysis technology, to research and development of advanced analytical methods and instruments suitable for quality control of nuclear fuel elements in HTR plants.
To establish a quality control technology system for medium-scale production plant of HTR spherical fuel elements, develop new analytical methods, establish national analytical standards, and develop new equipment systems with high degree of automation, high efficiency and high accuracy.

New Type of High Performance Fuel Element

The research of new type of high-performance fuel elements includes the design and preparation of new type kernels, coated fuel particles and spherical fuel elements. My research interests focus on the research of antioxidant fuel elements, involving the design of coating systems on the surface of fuel elements; the effect mechanisms of different preparation methods on the microstructure of coatings, oxidation and thermal shock resistance of fuel elements; establishment of the oxidation mechanism model of the fuel element under different conditions; analysis of mechanical properties, thermal properties of the new fuel element; and the prospectively study of potential engineering application for the new fuel elements.

Properties and performance of irradiated fuel Elements

To establish the first HTR spent fuel analysis laboratory (hot cell lab) of China, to create new research direction of fuel elements - performance of fuel elements after irradiation test. To study the burnup, micro-morphology, weight, failure fraction, microstructure, etc. of fuel elements after irradiation test. To analyse fission products release behaviour of spent fuel elements during the accident simulation heating test, the break mechanism of coated fuel particles. To improve the "nuclear fuel cycle and materials" discipline based on all above research work.

Research Status

2017-2020, National Science and Technology Major Project
Research on key process and technology optimization for production of high-temperature gas-cooled spherical fuel element
R&D of test methods and equipment for HTR spherical fuel element crucial properties with proprietary intellectual property rights, established the quality control system for HTR-PM and HTR-600 spherical element manufacture line. The achievements have largely promoted the development of the research level of HTR spherical fuel elements, and have been applied in the design of large-scale manufacture line. From raw material, UO2 kernel, TRISO coated particles, matrix graphite sphere, to spherical fuel element, a test technology system and a quality control system are well studied and established. The systems have been applied in HTR-PM and HTR-600 fuel manufacture line, and have been used to produce the spherical fuel elements for irradiation experiment afterwards. During the research, more than 30 sets of test equipment are developed and produced by localization, including the China
s first set of X-Ray automatic inspection system for fuel free zone. The Physical and Chemical Analysis Laboratory for large scale manufacture line was set up under my supervision.

2011-2020National Science and Technology Major Project
Research on the post-irradiation properties of spherical fuel elements
The HTR hot cell laboratory was designed and built to establish an advanced platform with hot cell laboratory and ancillary facilities specifically for irradiated HTR spherical fuel elements and spent fuel elements. The research activities carried along include post irradiation examination (PIE), trying to find out the failure and damage mechanisms of both TRISO coated fuel particles and HTR spherical elements. Furthermore, the research works will support and provide theoretical basis for research and development (R&D) of new types of HTR fuel elements, and choosing appropriate operating condition of future commercial HTR power plants in the future. The hot cell labs mainly consist of five single hot cells, six shielded glove boxes, one conveyor line and a pneumatic sample transportation system. These facilities and equipment cover functions of receiving, storage, inter-lab transport of both post irradiated spherical fuel elements and TRISO coated fuel particles. The specimens will be characterised by 1) spent sphere fuel weighting; 2) spent fuel burn-up measurement; 3) simulation accident heating test; 4) sphere fuel  deconsolidation test; 5) failure fraction measurement; 6) TRISO particle microstructure observing and testing sample auto-preparation; 7) macrostructure and microstructure investigation of irradiated fuel.

2017-2020National Natural Science Foundation of China
Research on the design, synthesis, performance characterization, and anti- oxidation mechanism of composite coating on the surface of HTR spherical fuel element
A series of special dual anti-oxidation coating layer on spherical fuel elements was designed with special dual anti-oxidation coating layer, in order to improve the oxidation resistance under high temperature and oxidizing environment. That is a core technology for increasing the operation temperature of HTR, which directly affect safety and economic efficiency of the reactor. During the research, a set of material is preliminary selected based on in core environment of HTR. Single layer such as SiC, ZrC, SiO2, ZrO2 was fabricated and oxidized in various atmosphere to analyze their oxidation behavior and mechanisms. Afterwards, a novel multi-layer coating was designed based on these research, and the fabrication parameters was optimized. How microstructure of coating and fabrication parameters could affect the layers
properties, and further effect on the fuel element itself was studied, and the oxidation resistant mechanism and thermal shock resistant mechanism were also established. The research has come up with a relationship between the coating layer, oxidation environment and the oxidation mass loss rate. It is predictable that the research results will lay a foundation for new anti-oxidation HTR spherical fuel element.

2010-2018, National Science and Technology Major Project
Research on the irradiation test of spherical fuel elements
Irradiation Test and apparatus & equipment design. The HTR-PM fuel qualification irradiation in the HFR Petten was successfully conducted with total irradiation time of 355 full power days from September.08, 2012 to December.30, 2014. Five fuel pebbles containing about 60 000 TRISO particles were drawn randomly from 1000 fuel pebbles, produced by the production process and facilities for HTR-PM fuel, by INET, Tsinghua University. The central temperature of the fuel ball during irradiation is about 1050
°C. According to the post-cycle calculations, the maximum attained burn up and fast neutron fluence is 111 600 MWd/tU and 4.95×1025 m-2, respectively, which is much stronger than the real in core situation. The release over birth ratios of the fission gasses xenon and krypton maintains in the level of 10-9. The irradiation results show that not only no any particles failed, but also the contamination of matrix graphite with heavy metal is very low. It is the best results of HTR fuel element irradiation test by far, which is much better than the design requirement.

Honors And Awards

R & D of key technologies and equipment for the production of nuclear fuel elements and their industrial production for the HTGR-PM demonstration project, First Class Prize (Rank No. 3), Science and Technology Progress Award of 2019, China Nuclear Energy Association.

Academic Achievement

Publications

Hui Yang, Hongsheng Zhao*, Taowei Wang, Ziqiang Li, Xiaoxue Liu, Bing Liu. Review of oxidant resistant coating on the matrix graphite of HTR fuel element. Journal of Central South University, 2019, 26(11): 2915-2929.
Hui Yang, Hongsheng Zhao*, Taowei Wang, Kaihong Zhang, Ziqiang Li, Xiaoxue Liu, Bing Liu. SiC/YSiC composite coating on matrix graphite sphere prepared by pack cementation and molten salt. Ceramics International, 2019, 45(17A): 21917-21922.
Chi Zhang, Xiaotong Chen, Bing Liu, Zengtong Jiao, Luhao Fan, Gang Xu, Taowei Wang, Linfeng He, Meili Qi, Zhenming Lu, Hongsheng Zhao, Zaizhe Yin, Yaping Tang. The electrochemical deconsolidation mechanism of graphite matrix in HTGR spherical fuel elements. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2019, 525: 1-6.
Hui Yang, Ping Zhou, Hongsheng Zhao*, Ziqiang Li, Xiaoxue Liu, Kaihong Zhang, Bing Liu. SiC coating on HTR graphite spheres prepared by fluidized-bed chemical vapor deposition. Annals of Nuclear Energy, 2019, 134: 11-19.
Hui Yang, Ping Zhou, Hongsheng Zhao*, Taowei Wang, Ziqiang Li, Xiaoxue Liu, Bing Liu. Corrosion of SiC layers on coated zirconia particles in wet atmosphere. Ceramics International, 2018, 44(11): 12797-12804.
S. Knol, S. de Groot, R.V. Salama, J. Best, K. Bakker, I. Bobeldijk, J.R. Westlake, M.A. F
ütterer, M. Laurie, Chunhe Tang, Rongzheng Liu, Bing Liu, Hongsheng Zhao. HTR-PM fuel pebble irradiation qualification in the high flux reactor in petten. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2018, 329: 82-88.
Zujie Zheng, Hongsheng Zhao*, Ziqiang Li, Xiaoxue Liu, Bin Wu, Bing Liu. Research on microstructure and oxidation resistant property of ZrSi2-SiC/SiC coating on HTR graphite spheres. Ceramic International, 2018, 44(5): 4795-4800.
Bin Wu, Yue Li, Hong-sheng Zhao, Shuang Liu, Bing Liu, Jin-hua Wang*. Wear behavior of graphitic matrix of fuel elements used in pebble-bed high-temperature gas-cooled reactors against steel. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2018, 328: 353-358.
Zujie Zheng, Ping Zhou, Hongsheng Zhao*, Xiaoxue Liu, Bing Liu. Research on ZrSi2-SiC/SiC anti-oxidation coating on HTR graphite spheres. Transactions of the American Nuclear Society, 2017, 117: 608-612.
Ping Zhou, Zujie Zheng, Rongzheng Liu, Xiaoxue Liu, Malin Liu, Taowei Wang, Ziqiang Li, Youlin Shao, Hongsheng Zhao*, Bing Liu. Dual layer SiC coating on matrix graphite sphere prepared by pack cementation and fluidized-bed chemical vapor deposition. Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 2017, 100(8): 3415-3424.
Xiaotong Chen*, Zhenming Lu*, Hongsheng Zhao, Bing Liu, Junguo Zhu and Chunhe Tang. The electric current effect on electrochemical deconsolidation of spherical fuel elements. Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations, 2017, 2126876: 6.
Zujie Zheng, Ping Zhou, Hongsheng Zhao*, Ziqiang Li, Xiaoxue Liu, Kaihong Zhang, Bing Liu. ZrSi2-SiC/SiC anti-oxidant coatings prepared on graphite spheres by two-step pack cementation process. Key Engineering Materials, 2017, 727: 953-958.
Ping Zhou, Xiaoxue Liu, Hongsheng Zhao*, Ziqiang Li, Zhujie Zheng, Bing Liu. Micro four-layer SiC coating on matrix graphite spheres of HTR fuel elements by two-step pack cementation. Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 2016, 99(11): 3525-3532.
Ping Zhou, Ziqiang Li, Hongsheng Zhao*, Kaihong Zhang, Xiaoxue Liu, Bing Liu. Sintering of SiC coating layer on graphite spheres prepared by pack cementation. Key Engineering Materials, 2016, 697: 807-813.
Ping Zhou, Ziqiang Li, Hongsheng Zhao*, Kaihong Zhang, Xiaoxue Liu, Bing Liu. SiC/SiO2 coating on matrix graphite spheres of HTR fuel element produced by a two-step pack cementation/high-temperature oxidation process. Materials Science Forum, 2016, 852: 952-958.
Xiaoxue Liu, Hongsheng Zhao*, Hui Yang, Kaihong Zhang, Ziqiang Li. Effect of SiC whiskers on the properties of porous silicon carbide ceramic. Materials Research Innovations, 2014, 18(suppl2): 157-161.
Hongsheng Zhao, Xiaoxue Liu, Ziqiang Li, Kaihong Zhang, Chunhe Tang. A measurement method for density of HTR coated fuel particles porous pyrocarbon layer. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2014, 271: 250-252.
Hongsheng Zhao, Zhiqiang Fu, Chunhe Tang, Xiaoxue Liu, Ziqiang Li, Kaihong Zhang. Study of SiC/SiO2 oxidation-resistant coatings on matrix graphite for HTR fuel element. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2014, 271: 217-220.
Chunhe Tang, Bing Liu, Ziqiang Li, Ying Quan, Hongsheng Zhao, Youlin Shao. SiC performance of coated fuel particles under high-temperature atmosphere of air. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2014, 271: 64-67.
Xiaoxue Liu, Hongsheng Zhao*, Hui Yang, Kaihong Zhang, Ziqiang Li. Synthesis and characteristics of porous silicon carbide ceramic reinforced by silicon carbide whiskers. Key Engineering Materials, 2014, 602-603: 397-402.
Min Yang*, Qi Liu, Hongsheng Zhao*, Ziqiang Li, Bing Liu, Xingdong Li, Fanyong Meng. Automatic X-ray inspection for escaped coated particles in spherical fuel elements of high temperature gas-cooled reactor. Energy, 2014, 68: 385-398.
Zhi-qiang Fu, Cheng-biao Wang, Chun-he Tang, Hong-sheng Zhao, Robin Jean-Charles. Oxidation behaviors of SiO2-SiC coated matrix graphite of high temperature gas-cooled reactor fuel element. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2013, 265: 867-871.
Chunhe Tang, Xiaoming Fu, Junguo Zhu, Hongsheng Zhao, Yaping Tang. Comparison of two irradiation testing results of HTR-10 fuel spheres. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2012, 251: 453-458.
Hongsheng Zhao, Bing Liu, Kaihong Zhang, Chunhe Tang. Microstructure analysis of zirconium carbide layer on pyrocarbon-coated particles prepared by zirconium chloride vapor method. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2012, 251: 443-448.
Hui Yang, Hongsheng Zhao*, Zhongguo Liu, Ziqiang Li, Kaihong Zhang. Effect of aging pH value on the properties of porous SiC ceramics produced through coat-mix process. Key Engineering Materials, 2012, 512-515: 770-774.
Hui Yang, Hongsheng Zhao*, Xiaoxue Liu, Ziqiang Li, Kaihong Zhang, Chunhe Tang. Microstructure evolution process of porous silicon carbide ceramics prepared through coat-mix method. Ceramics International, 2012, 38(3): 2213-2218.
Hongsheng Zhao, Zhongguo Liu, Kaihong Zhang, Ziqiang Li, Xiaoxue Liu. Formation mechanism of porous silicon carbide ceramic synthesized by coat-mix process. Advanced Materials Research, 2011, 284-286: 1412-1416.
Hong-sheng Zhao, Zhong-guo Liu, Yang Yang, Kai-hong Zhang, Zi-qiang Li. Preparation and properties of porous silicon carbide ceramics through coat-mix and composite additives process. Transactions of Nonferrous Metals Society of China, 2011, 21(6): 1329-1334.
Limin Shi, Hongsheng Zhao, Chunhe Tang. Purity of SiC powders fabricated by coat-mix. International Journal of Mineral, Metallurgy and Material, 2009, 16(2): 230-235.
Hongsheng Zhao, Limin Shi, Ziqiang Li, Chunhe Tang. Silicon carbide nanowires synthesized with phenolic resin and silicon powders. Physica E, 2009, 41(4): 753-756.
Hongsheng Zhao, Lei Chen, Nianzi Gao, Kaihong Zhang, Ziqiang Li. Low-temperature sintering and properties of aluminum nitride/boron silicate glass. Journal of Zhejiang University-Science A, 2009, 10(1): 109-113.
Limin Shi, Hongsheng Zhao, Yinghui Yan, Ziqiang Li, Chunhe Tang. High specific surface area porous SiC ceramics coated with reticulated amorphous SiC nanowires. Physica E, 2008, 40(7): 2540-2544.
Limin Shi, Hongsheng Zhao, Yinghui Yan, Chunhe Tang. High porosity SiC ceramics with a narrow pore size distribution. Key Engineering Materials, 2008, 368-372: 840-842.
Hongsheng Zhao, Tongxiang Liang, Bing Liu. Synthesis and properties of copper conductive adhesives modified by SiO2 nanoparticles. International Journal of Adhesion and Adhesives, 2007, 27(6): 429-433.
Limin Shi, Hongsheng Zhao, Yinghui Yan, Chunhe Tang. Fabrication of high purity porous SiC ceramics using coat mix process. Materials Science and Engineering A, 2007, 460-461: 645-647.
Limin Shi, Hongsheng Zhao, Yinghui Yan, Ziqiang Li, Chunhe Tang. Porous titanium carbide ceramics fabricated by coat-mix process. Scripta Materialia, 2006, 55(9): 763-765.
Hongsheng Zhao, Tongxiang Liang, Jie Zhang, Ziqiang Li, Chunhe Tang. Research on the graphite powders used for HTR-PM fuel elements. Rare Metals, 2006, 25(Spec. Issue): 351-354.
Hongsheng Zhao, Bing Liu, Hongpo Hu, Ziqiang Li, Youlin Shao. Optical properties of CeO2/Fe3O4 solar control glass coating. Rare Metals, 2006, 25(Spec. Issue): 347-350.
Limin Shi, Hongsheng Zhao, Yinghui Yan, Ziqiang Li, Chunhe Tang. Synthesis and characterization of submicron SiC powders by coat-mix process. Powder Technology, 2006, 169(2): 71-76.
Tongxiang Liang, Hongsheng Zhao, Chunhe Tang, K. Verfondern.  Irradiation performance and modeling of HTR-10 coated fuel particles. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2006, 236(18): 1922-1927.
Hongsheng Zhao, Tongxiang Liang, Jie Zhang, Jun He, Yanwen Zou, Chunhe Tang. Manufacture and characteristics of spherical fuel elements for the HTR-10. Nuclear Engineering and Design, 2006, 236(5-6): 643-647.

Patents

Height-adjustable and automatic circulation spherical element falling strength experiment device. ZL201621273107.4
A spherical fuel element disintegration device. ZL201610262532.1
An automatic sorting device for irradiated particles. ZL201510219939.1
SiC/SiO2 composite high-temperature oxidation resistant coating and composite material prepared from the surface of graphite materials used for reactors. ZL201510069925.6
Automatic detection system and method of fuel-free zone for spherical fuel element of high temperature gas-cooled reactor. ZL201410073831.1
A measuring method on the coating thickness of coated fuel particles. ZL201410027774.3
A system and method for detecting diameter of spherical samples. ZL201210176630.5
Anti-crack fixture for spherical components. ZL201210455249.2
Anti-oxidation performance testing equipment. ZL201210228146.2
A detecting device on the falling strength of sphere element  ZL201110332665.9
A measurement method on the density of microsphere and its surface coating. ZL201110318993.3
A measuring device and method on the wear rate of graphite balls. ZL201110159647.5
A preparation process of porous silicon carbide ceramics with high thermal shock resistance. ZL201010152549.4
AlN/borosilicate glass low temperature co-fired ceramic substrate material and its preparation method. ZL200710118465.7
A preparation method for high porosity porous silicon carbide ceramics. ZL200510076993.1
A preparation method of SiC micron powders. ZL200410103488.7

Last updated2020-10-06