Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

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

Personal cooling units on the horizon April 29th, 2016

Exploring phosphorene, a promising new material April 29th, 2016

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Files for Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1/2 Study of ARC-521 April 28th, 2016

The Translational Research Center at the University Hospital of Erlangen in Germany uses the ZetaView from Particle Metrix to quantify extracellular vesicles such as exosomes April 28th, 2016

Announcements

Personal cooling units on the horizon April 29th, 2016

Exploring phosphorene, a promising new material April 29th, 2016

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Files for Regulatory Clearance to Begin Phase 1/2 Study of ARC-521 April 28th, 2016

The Translational Research Center at the University Hospital of Erlangen in Germany uses the ZetaView from Particle Metrix to quantify extracellular vesicles such as exosomes April 28th, 2016

Environment

Team builds first quantum cascade laser on silicon: Eliminates the need for an external light source for mid-infrared silicon photonic devices or photonic circuits April 21st, 2016

Atomically thin sensor detects harmful air pollution in the home April 18th, 2016

Catalyst could make production of key chemical more eco-friendly April 10th, 2016

Nanoporous material's strange "breathing" behavior April 7th, 2016

Energy

NREL finds nanotube semiconductors well-suited for PV systems April 27th, 2016

Researchers create artificial protein to control assembly of buckyballs April 27th, 2016

Flipping a chemical switch helps perovskite solar cells beat the heat April 26th, 2016

New spin Seebeck thermoelectric device with higher conversion efficiency created April 26th, 2016

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

Brookhaven's Oleg Gang Named a Battelle 'Inventor of the Year': Recognized for work using DNA to guide and regulate the self-assembly of nanoparticles into clusters and arrays with controllable properties April 25th, 2016

Zip software can detect the quantum-classical boundary: Compression of experimental data reveals the presence of quantum correlations April 21st, 2016

Making electronics out of coal: Instead of burning up this complex hydrocarbon, let's make devices from it April 20th, 2016

Nano-magnets produce 3-dimensional images: Wide-view 3-dimensional holographic display composed of nano-magnetic pixels April 20th, 2016

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







Car Brands
Buy website traffic