- Kurt Terrani, Materials Science and Technology Division, Nuclear Fuel Materials Group
Today, roughly 40,000 tonnes of urania are being irradiated in light water reactors across the world to generate ~11% of world’s electricity. This is a continuation of a trend that started six decades ago and is to continue for the foreseeable future. During this process, urania experiences profound changes in its chemistry, excessive temperature and stress gradients, and a remarkable amount of radiation damage. These factors alter its microstructure and properties in peculiar and intriguing ways. Because they affect its engineering performance, the changes in the properties of urania have been studied extensively and are relatively well understood. However, basic understanding of the processes that govern these changes is more or less missing. Without this basic understanding, designing the next generation of nuclear fuels that are to outperform urania is unlikely to be viable. In this seminar, we will present a summary of these open questions and the ongoing attempts to answer some of them.
Refreshments will be served starting at 9:30.