Science Basis for Design of High Performance Radiation-Resistant Materials in Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems

Zinkle
SPEAKER:
STEVEN J. ZINKLE, PH.D.

GOVERNOR’S CHAIR PROFESSOR
NUCLEAR ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT

UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, KNOXVILLE

DATE/TIME:
MON, 03/30/2015 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2015 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

High performance structural materials are important for the satisfactory operation of existing fission reactors that provide nearly 20% of the electricity in the US, and are even more crucial for the viability of future advanced nuclear energy systems including proposed Generation IV fission and fusion energy reactors and space reactor systems. Key materials science aspects associated with operation in these extreme temperature, mechanical stress and radiation environments will be summarized. Of particular importance for structural materials in nuclear energy systems is the intense neutron displacement damage environment. Examples will be given of fundamental radiation effects research that has provided considerable insight into defect production and evolution mechanisms in materials.

Based on improved understanding of fundamental radiation effects in materials, three major approaches have emerged for science-based design of radiation-resistant materials: select materials with immobile vacancies at the desired operating temperature; use materials with potentially intrinsic high defect recombination such as body centered cubic alloys, amorphous materials or high entropy alloys; and design materials with ultra-high point defect recombination sinks (nanoscale precipitates, multilayers, etc.). These materials science approaches will be briefly reviewed. Opportunities to harness recent materials science advances including computational thermodynamics to produced tailored high performance alloys and additive manufacturing to enable near net shape fabrication of geometrically complex, high performance structural materials will be briefly discussed.

About the Speaker:

Steve Zinkle is a Governor’s Chair Professor in the Nuclear Engineering Department with a joint appointment in the Materials Science & Engineering Department at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Prior to October, 2013, he was Chief Scientist of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate and a Corporate Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He previously served as the director of the ORNL Materials Science and Technology Division from 2006 - 2010, and in a variety of research scientist and program management roles at ORNL. Much of his research has utilized materials science to explore fundamental physical phenomena that are important for advanced nuclear energy applications. His research interests include deformation and fracture mechanisms in structural materials, advanced manufacturing, and investigation of radiation effects in ceramics, fuel systems, and metallic alloys for fusion and fission energy systems. He received his PhD in Nuclear Engineering and an MS in Materials Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. He has written over 250 peer-reviewed publications, is a recipient of the 2006 U.S. Department of Energy E.O. Lawrence Award, and is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Materials Research Society, The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS), ASM International, the American Ceramic Society, the American Nuclear Society and AAAS. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

ORNL-SINAP FHR CRADA Colloquium

holcomb
chen
SPEAKER:
DAVID HOLCOMB, PH.D., ORNL
KUN CHEN, PH.D., SINAP
DATE/TIME:
MON, 03/09/2015 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2015 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

ORNL-SINAP FHR CRADA Colloquium

Joint Presentation by David Holcomb (ORNL) and Kun Chen (SINAP)

The Chinese Academy of Science’s (CAS) Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) and the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have recently entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to accelerate the development of fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactors (FHRs).  The CRADA evolved from US–China interactions under a Memorandum of Understanding between the DOE and the CAS on Cooperation in Nuclear Energy Sciences and Technologies.

The CRADA supports and is funded by SINAP’s thorium molten salt reactor (TMSR) program. The overall purpose for SINAP’s TMSR program is to develop molten salt reactor technology to supply energy to the growing Chinese economy.  As part of this effort, the TMSR program seeks to make use of China’s extensive reserves of thorium.  Molten salt reactors generally fall into two types: dissolved fuel reactors in which the fuel is dissolved within the salt, and solid fuel reactors (aka FHRs) in which the fuel is a solid held within the reactor core.  China is pursuing both dissolved fuel and solid fuel molten salt reactors.  The CRADA is limited to solid fueled MSRs, but recognizes that nearly all of the technology developed will be applicable to dissolved fuel MSRs.  The FHR test reactors currently being planned by CAS will use low-enriched uranium fuel.

FHRs have the potential to safely, reliably, and economically generate large quantities of power.  The mission of the DOE-NE Office of Advanced Reactor Technologies (ART) is to develop and refine future nuclear energy concepts that have the potential to provide significant safety and economic improvements over existing reactor concepts. In support of this mission, ART has been supporting research and development (R&D) on FHR concepts and technologies for the past several years.  ART is currently supporting FHR development primarily through its nuclear energy university program (NEUP).  ART programs often employ international collaboration to leverage and expand R&D investments.

Both nations agree that MSRs remain at an early phase of development characterized by scientific research and exploratory engineering and with significant amounts of basic information common to any design still to be established.  Also, both nations recognize that developing a common understanding of the safety characteristics and consequent regulatory requirements of the reactor class would decrease the development risk.

The CRADA is organized into a series of phases.  The specific tasks in each phase will need to be approved by both governments.  The approved first phase tasks are 1) to commission and ORNL’s liquid salt test loop and use it to perform pebble bed heat transfer testing, 2) to perform component evaluation and testing, 3) to provide analysis software support, 4) to develop and participate in international FHR training activities, and 5) technical information exchange on FHR supportive technologies.

About the Speaker:

About Kun Chen:

Kun Chen received his bachelor degree in applied physics from University of Science and Technology of China in 2001, and Ph.D. in nuclear physics and scientific computing (minor) from Indiana University in 2006. After graduation, he worked for Argonne National Laboratory as a postdoc and then as a staff member for four years. He joined Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) in 2011 and served as the group leader and then the director of the Nuclear Safety and Engineering Division.

He has been working on cold neutron sources and imaging in Indiana University. While working in Argonne as a nuclear engineer, he is responsible for radiation shielding and criticality safety analysis of the nuclear material storage and transport in support of DOE EM’s SAR review program. He also developed technologies for nuclear material package surveillance using RFID at Argonne. After joining SINAP, he is leading the efforts of the nuclear safety research and licensing of the thorium-fueled molten salt reactors program (TMSR). He is developing new methods and techniques for safety analysis of the TMSRs. His other interests include radiation protection, shielding, radiation monitoring, criticality safety, waste management and environment protection.

About David Holcomb:

David E. Holcomb has been an Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) research scientist for more than 20 years. Dr. Holcomb is the Department of Energy (DOE) national technical area lead for fluoride salt cooled high-temperature reactors (FHRs).  Dr. Holcomb’s technical specialties are in FHR reactor design and evaluation, reactor instrumentation and controls (I&C), radiation detector materials, and sensors for harsh environments.  Dr. Holcomb also currently represents the U.S. and serves as co-chair of the technical steering committee for the Generation IV International Forum on molten salt reactors.  Dr. Holcomb is the U.S. principal investigator on the cooperative research and development project between ORNL and the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) on FHRs.

Dr. Holcomb holds a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from The Ohio State University (OSU) (1992), an M.S. in nuclear engineering also from OSU (1990), and a B.S. degree in engineering science specializing in engineering physics from Colorado State University (1987).  Dr. Holcomb has also served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in the Nuclear Engineering Department since 1995.  Dr. Holcomb is a current member of the nuclear engineering program advisory board for OSU.  He is also a member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), where he is a past chair of the Human Factors, Instrumentation, and Controls Division.  Dr. Holcomb has served as technical chair (or co-chair) at ANS embedded topical meetings and for International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) technical meetings.  Dr. Holcomb also is a member of the advisory board for the U.S.-Czech Civilian Nuclear Power Cooperation Center.  Dr. Holcomb has served as a member of the external review and assessment panel of SINAP at the behest of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  Dr. Holcomb also chaired the international preconceptual design review panel on the SINAP dissolved fuel molten salt reactor.  Dr. Holcomb holds six patents and previously served as the chair of the ASTM International subcommittee on fundamentals of temperature measurement.

Frontiers of Medical Physics Research at UCSF (and a Sneak Peek of the UCB-UCSF Medical Physics Program)

cunha
SPEAKER:
J. ADAM M. CUNHA, PH.D.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IN RESIDENCE

DEPARTMENT OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO

DATE/TIME:
MON, 03/16/2015 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2015 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

With branches in basic science research, diagnostic medical imaging, and therapeutic medical practice, medical physics is a unique field that brings together science, technology, and medicine on a daily basis.  UCSF is at the cutting edge of medical physics research and clinical practice.  Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its use of both radiation and non-invasive imaging, medical physics shares many pedagogic and practical roots with nuclear engineering.  This talk will introduce the field of medical physics to the UCB nuclear engineering community and present some of the exciting work being done at UCSF.  In addition, because the shared roots between these two disciplines leads to a natural affiliation, the Department of Nuclear Engineering is partnering with the UCSF Department of Radiation Oncology to create a PhD track in medical physics.  This talk will cover topics of practical importance to the nuclear engineering student interested in medical physics.  Topic questions will include:

  • What is medical physics?
  • How is medical physics related to nuclear engineering?
  • What is the nature of scientific research in the field?
  • Which research avenues are UCSF faculty pursuing?
  • Can one pursue a career in medical physics with a nuclear engineering PhD?
About the Speaker:

Dr. Cunha received his PhD is experimental high-energy physics from the UCSB in 2006.  After a year postdoc with the ATLAS group at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Dr. Cunha moved back to California to take a postdoctoral position in medical physics with the internationally recognized Prof. Jean Pouliot at UCSF.  In 2009 Dr. Cunha joined the radiation oncology faculty at UCSF.

Dr. Cunha’s research has focused on invention and translation of new technology to the radiation oncology clinic. He is currently the co-chair of the AAPM robotic brachytherapy working group and also published work on using 3D printing in the radiation oncology clinic.

Dr. Cunha is an active member of the AAPM Working Group on Medical Physics Graduate Education and serves the UCSF Academic Senate on the Graduate Council Committee.  He currently serves as the chair of the UCB-UCSF joint medical physics program steering committee, which is diligently working through the accreditation process to bring the program to fruition.

Nuclear Power in the Broader Climate and Energy Debate

lovering
SPEAKER:
JESSICA LOVERING, M.S.

SENIOR ENERGY ANALYST

THE BREAKTHROUGH INSTITUTE

DATE/TIME:
MON, 03/02/2015 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2015 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Jessica Lovering will highlight the work she’s done over the past three years at the Breakthrough Institute - a paradigm-shifting environmental think tank - to engage the environmental community around the benefits of nuclear power and to understand the challenges nuclear power faces in the modern energy system. Her research focuses on innovation policy to accelerate the deployment of advanced nuclear power technologies as well as analysis of energy transitions and decarbonization more broadly to understand how nuclear power plays a major role in reducing pollution, sparing land, and modernizing economies. All of her work contributes to the broader Breakthrough Institute mission: “to accelerate the transition to a future where all the world’s inhabitants can enjoy secure, free, and prosperous lives on an ecologically vibrant planet."

About the Speaker:

Jessica Lovering is a Senior Energy Analyst at the Breakthrough Institute, a non-profit think tank based in Oakland, California. Her research focuses on nuclear power’s role in mitigating climate change and powering modern economies. In 2013, she co-authored the report How to Make Nuclear Cheap, which analyzed the potential of advanced nuclear designs to improve the safety and economics of nuclear power. Her analysis for the Breakthrough Institute has included research into national decarbonization scenarios, global energy trends, nuclear innovation, and the climate effects of nuclear power phase-outs. Jessica earned an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado Boulder, with a focus on energy policy. During her last year of school, Jessica created and taught a graduate course on nuclear energy.

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