Energy - More bang for the buck

Aug 13, 2004

Spent nuclear fuel from commercial reactors could be minimized and burn-up potentially doubled if Gamma Engineering's new silicon carbide-based cladding proves viable. Conventional cladding, the tubing that contains the enriched uranium that fuels reactors, becomes brittle and must be replaced – along with the fuel – every five years. If, however, Gamma Engineering's proprietary duplex material can be used instead, the refueling cycle could be extended to a theoretical 10 years.

Information gained from tests at the High Temperature Materials Lab is helping determine the extent, rate and exact method of corrosion of the material. The goal is to learn whether the tubes, which consist of a silicon fiber-reinforced composite around a silicon monolithic tube, are sufficiently corrosion-resistant to withstand conditions in the high-temperature water used in reactors. Zia Faiztompkins, an engineer with the Rockville, Md.-based Gamma Engineering, is working with ORNL's Larry Walker, Michael Lance and Harry Meyer to answer that question. Funding is provided by the Department of Energy's offices of Nuclear Energy and Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Source: DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Explore further: Black phosphorus is new 'wonder material' for improving optical communication

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study shows troubling rise in use of animals in experiments

5 hours ago

Despite industry claims of reduced animal use as well as federal laws and policies aimed at reducing the use of animals, the number of animals used in leading U.S. laboratories increased a staggering 73 percent from 1997 ...

NY surveying banks on cyber security defenses

8 hours ago

(AP)—New York financial regulators are considering tougher cyber security requirements for banks to mandate more complex computer sign-ins and certifications from the contractors of their cyber defenses, the state's top ...

Life-saving train design is rarely used

9 hours ago

(AP)—Nearly a decade ago, the U.S. secretary of transportation stood at the site of a horrendous commuter train crash near downtown Los Angeles and called for the adoption of a new train car design that ...

Climate change may flatten famed surfing waves

9 hours ago

On a summer day in 1885, three Hawaiian princes surfed at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River on crudely constructed boards made from coastal redwoods, bringing the sport to the North American mainland.

Recommended for you

Breakthrough in OLED technology

17 hours ago

Organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), which are made from carbon-containing materials, have the potential to revolutionize future display technologies, making low-power displays so thin they'll wrap or fold ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.