Energy - More bang for the buck

August 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: Microwaves against cold-start emissions

Related Stories

Microwaves against cold-start emissions

December 5, 2017

During cold start, a car engine emits far more particulate matter and other pollutants than during warm conditions. This is because a cold catalytic converter is much less efficient at low exhaust gas temperatures. So what's ...

SNS, HFIR experiments help refine thin-film solar cells

September 2, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity could be a widely used renewable energy source. Getting to that point, though, requires breakthroughs in their cost and their efficiency at turning sunbeams ...

An uncommon influence for a research paper

May 11, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- An article written in 2004 by a Lehigh engineering professor and his former student has received more citations than any publication in its field, according to a company that analyzes the influence of research ...

Making synthetic diamond crystals in a plasma reactor

March 21, 2014

Synthetic diamond crystals are of interest to many industrial sectors. Their unique properties make them a suitable material for numerous applications including lenses for high-energy laser optics, X-ray radiation detectors ...

Research explores safer fuel for nuclear reactors

March 21, 2016

Nuclear power is an important energy source in the U.S. and around the world and its use is seen by proponents as essential to reducing carbon emissions from fossil fuels. However, many people feel the risk of nuclear accidents ...

Recommended for you

Converting heat into electricity with pencil and paper

February 19, 2018

Thermoelectric materials can use thermal differences to generate electricity. Now there is an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way of producing them with the simplest tools: a pencil, photocopy paper, and conductive ...

0 comments

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.