The US Department of Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Program have announced nearly $64 million in awards for advanced nuclear energy technology to DOE national laboratories, industry, and U.S. universities in 29 states. In support for nuclear energy research, The Office of Nuclear Energy has selected 89 projects to fund, and among them, two Berkeley-led projects will receive an estimated funding of $800,000.00 each from the 2018 Research and Development Awards.
The nuclear materials team wins three NEUP awards. These three awards will support nuclear engineering related materials research and building of new infrastructure:
“Understanding of degradation of SiC/SiC materials in nuclear systems and development of mitigation strategies”
Program: FC 2.3: Damage and Failure Mechanisms for SiC/SiC Composite Fuel Cladding and Mitigation Technologies
This project investigates the best possible coatings to prevent SiCf/SiCm corrosion in LWR environments. The research features a computational and experimental rapid screening approach for numerous coating compositions. The work includes autoclave exposure of rapid screening coupons in prototypical environments in combination with thermodynamic modeling (CALPHAD) and Finite Element Methods (FEM). Small-scale mechanical testing, together with thermal cycling and FEM modeling, will provide guidance on the ideal coating system design.
“Bridging the length scales on mechanical property evaluation”
Program: FC-2.1: Benchmarking Microscale Mechanical Property Measurements
This project combines experimental and modeling methods to gain a comprehensive approach for addressing scaling effects on small-scale mechanical testing. Multiscale experiments, together with modeling on reactor-relevant and model alloys, will provide better understanding of appropriate scaling relationships. The study aims to gain fundamental understanding of plasticity interactions with specific strength-determining features, such as precipitates and grain boundaries. The goal of this work is to provide the basis to add small-scale mechanical testing in the toolbox for nuclear materials research.
“Installation of A Novel High Throughput Micro and Macro Scale Machining Capability for Pre and Post Irradiation Examination”
This project targets the deployment of a novel micro and macro scale high precision machining capability for unirradiated and irradiated materials. Equipment includes a femto second laser with the related optics, sample stage, and the required software.