The international materials community is engaged in finding safer alternatives to zirconium alloys for the cladding of fuel in light water reactors. One solution is to replace the zirconium cladding using ferritic iron-chromium-aluminum -FeCrAl- alloys, which offer extraordinary resistance to high temperature reaction with air or steam due to the formation of a protective alumina layer on the external surface. It is important to characterize the behavior of FeCrAl not only during accident conditions but in the entire fuel cycle, which may include reprocessing of the used fuel after it is removed from the power reactors. The reprocessing may involve the dissolution of the fuel rods in mineral acids. Little or nothing is known on the dissolution of FeCrAl alloys in common mineral acids, therefore the objective of this research was to study the dissolution of typical cladding tubing having two compositions of FeCrAl (APMT & C26M) in three acids (H2SO4, HNO3 & HCl) as a function of the temperature using both standard ASTM immersion tests as well as electrochemical tests. The dissolution behavior of the FeCrAl alloys is compared to the dissolution capability of other traditional nuclear materials such as austenitic stainless steels (304SS & 316SS) and austenitic nickel alloys (Alloy 600 and Hastelloy C-276). Results show that both C26M and APMT have a higher dissolution capability in the studied mineral acids, which will be beneficial for reprocessing procedures.

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