Cladding materials with superior corrosion resistance and anti-hydrogen pickup have been developed for high burnup nuclear fuel. We have suggested a surface modification of the cladding materials for this purpose and invented a new surface modification method "Fresh-Green". The Fresh-Green treatment oxidizes and carbonizes a material surface in the same process. Zircaloy-2 with the Fresh-Green treatment showed the improvement of corrosion resistance in autoclave tests. In order to investigate the effect of surface modifications on the corrosion resistance, a synchrotron radiation experiment and a TEM observation were performed on different oxide layers formed on Zircaloy-2. The oxide layers were formed by air-oxidation, an autoclave test and the Fresh-Green treatment. Crystal structures of all the samples were transformed as Zr > Zr3O > tetragonal ZrO2 > monoclinic ZrO2 from the matrix to the surface. Columnar grains of monoclinic zirconia were arranged unidirectionally in the Fresh-Green oxide layer treated at a low temperature. Diffusing capacity for oxygen influenced the crystal structure of the oxide layers.
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