Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Nanomaterials Researcher Hopes His Work Helps Build a More-Efficient Nuclear Reactor

Dr. Hongbing Lu has landed the biggest research grant yet within the University’s young Mechanical Engineering Department.
Dr. Hongbing Lu has landed the biggest research grant yet within the University’s young Mechanical Engineering Department.

Abstract:
With renewed attention being given to nuclear power, a UT Dallas researcher has snagged an $875,000 Department of Energy (DOE) grant to explore a means to boost power plant efficiency and reduce nuclear waste.

Nanomaterials Researcher Hopes His Work Helps Build a More-Efficient Nuclear Reactor

Dallas, TX | Posted on July 19th, 2010

It's the biggest research grant yet within the University's young Mechanical Engineering Department.

Dr. Hongbing Lu, a nanomaterials expert and the first holder of the Louis Beecherl Jr. Chair in mechanical engineering at the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, will simulate the cracks that form in the metal-alloy surface, or cladding, of nuclear fuel rods. These cracks - which develop in the stressful reactor environment of tremendous heat, corrosion, irradiation and pressure - are microscopic in size but can cause a reduction in the fuel burn-up rate, decreasing power station efficiency and increasing nuclear waste.

"We're working on a very general simulation methodology that can be applied to that kind of environment," Lu said. "It's more than just crack growth. We need to understand how the material behaves under extreme pressure, temperature, corrosion and irradiation. With the methodology we're using, we're taking all of those factors into consideration and incorporating material behaviors into some mathematical models to describe them under very complicated conditions."

Lu and his team will generate data about the effects of pressure and temperature, factoring in DOE information about fission and other labs' information about the effects of corrosion.

"Once we've gathered all of the information on nuclear fuel cladding in that environment, then we'll be able to plug it all into a simulation code and develop a better understanding of how quickly the cracks grow," Lu said. "At that point we can go beyond the simulations and begin working on actual materials tested in the government labs."

The ultimate goal is to use the results to come up with a better fuel-cladding material, but the work should have application in a variety of other areas as well.

"The same simulation methodologies we're developing can be applied to other parts of a nuclear power station," Lu said. "Take the pressure vessels, for instance. The environment may not be as extreme as in the fuel cladding - the temperature and radiation may be lower - but, overall, the two environments are very similar. And if you remove the radiation, you can apply the methodologies to other high-pressure environments such as engines."

Despite lingering concerns by the public about the safety of nuclear power plants even decades after the Three-Mile Island and Chernobyl nuclear accidents, the planet is in the midst of what has been called a nuclear renaissance, especially in China and India. Lu hopes to assuage people's concerns.

"With the use of modern technology, nuclear energy is really safe," Lu said. "It's quite different from many decades ago. The nuclear physics has already been figured out. Other things are dictating the efficiency of the fuel burn-up. You need people from all disciplines. My contribution has to do with the mechanics and materials aspects of the nuclear fission process."

Energy is one of the primary issues society has to deal with right now, he added, noting that alternatives to fossil fuels are desperately needed.

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Media Contact: Jimmie Markham, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2198,

Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155,


Copyright © UT Dallas

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Video captures bubble-blowing battery in action: Researchers propose how bubbles form, could lead to smaller lithium-air batteries April 26th, 2017

New Product Nanoparticle preparation from Intertronics with new Thinky NP-100 Nano Pulveriser April 26th, 2017

California Research Alliance by BASF establishes more than 25 research projects in three years April 26th, 2017

Affordable STM32 Cloud-Connectable Kit from STMicroelectronics Puts More Features On-Board for Fast and Flexible IoT-Device Development April 26th, 2017

Announcements

Video captures bubble-blowing battery in action: Researchers propose how bubbles form, could lead to smaller lithium-air batteries April 26th, 2017

New Product Nanoparticle preparation from Intertronics with new Thinky NP-100 Nano Pulveriser April 26th, 2017

California Research Alliance by BASF establishes more than 25 research projects in three years April 26th, 2017

Affordable STM32 Cloud-Connectable Kit from STMicroelectronics Puts More Features On-Board for Fast and Flexible IoT-Device Development April 26th, 2017

Environment

NanoMONITOR shares its latest developments concerning the NanoMONITOR Software and the Monitoring stations April 21st, 2017

Wood filter removes toxic dye from water April 21st, 2017

Making Batteries From Waste Glass Bottles: UCR researchers are turning glass bottles into high performance lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles and personal electronics April 19th, 2017

Shedding light on the absorption of light by titanium dioxide April 14th, 2017

Energy

Using light to propel water : With new method, MIT engineers can control and separate fluids on a surface using only visible light April 25th, 2017

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Announces Total of 172 Teams Selected to Compete in Solar in Your Community Challenge: Teams from 40 states, plus Washington, DC, 2 Territories, and 4 American Indian Reservations, Will Deploy Solar in Underserved Communities April 20th, 2017

Better living through pressure: Functional nanomaterials made easy April 19th, 2017

Shedding light on the absorption of light by titanium dioxide April 14th, 2017

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Video captures bubble-blowing battery in action: Researchers propose how bubbles form, could lead to smaller lithium-air batteries April 26th, 2017

Nanoparticle vaccine shows potential as immunotherapy to fight multiple cancer types April 24th, 2017

Forge Nano 2017: 1st Quarter Media Update April 20th, 2017

SUNY Polytechnic Institute Announces Total of 172 Teams Selected to Compete in Solar in Your Community Challenge: Teams from 40 states, plus Washington, DC, 2 Territories, and 4 American Indian Reservations, Will Deploy Solar in Underserved Communities April 20th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project