Nuclear Fuel Materials Investigation Through Combined Experimental and Simulation Methods
Nuclear materials research has always been a key ingredient in nuclear engineering and technology development, traditionally emphasizing more on the engineering aspects. With advancements in experimental techniques and instrumentation, together with computational power and simulation methods, more science oriented research has been brought to the focus of today’s nuclear materials investigations.
Nuclear fuel materials research is very challenging in the sense that many different processes co-exist leading to degradation of fuel (both Uranium based fuel and cladding materials) properties during reactor operation. These processes include radiation damage, fission gas accumulation, chemical transport, chemical corrosions, etc. In this seminar, both experimental investigations and simulation work centered around metallic nuclear fuels will be discussed.
The simulation work utilized a commercial finite-element package, COMSOL, to probe fuel performance characteristics of metallic fuels as well as a rate theory based framework to connect meso-scale phenomena to the continuum scale. The experimental work utilized some of Argonne’s most established experimental facilities, the Advanced Photon Source (APS), the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS) and the Intermediate Voltage Electron Microscope (IVEM), to support the modeling efforts.