Nuclear

Novel processing technique enhances toughness of high boron steel

By Lisa McDonald / May 7, 2021

Boron can enhance mechanical properties of steel, but too much boron will segregate from the steel and negate these benefits. Researchers led by Wuhan University of Science and Technology looked to enhance the toughness of high boron steel using a novel processing technique called quenching and partitioning.

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Determine oxidation stability of materials at MAX speed

By Lisa McDonald / April 23, 2021

Determining oxidation stability of new MAX phases is a difficult and expensive process with current computational and experimental methods. Researchers at Texas A&M University designed a new machine-learning-based scheme for predicting the oxidation of MAX phases at high temperatures, allowing them to conduct studies that may otherwise take years to perform.

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MAX radiation protection for next-generation nuclear power plants

By Jonathon Foreman / April 20, 2021

MAX phases are layered ceramic materials with both ceramic and metal-like properties, as well as good radiation tolerance, making them ideal candidates for use in next-generation nuclear power technologies. Two recent papers investigate the irradiation of Cr2AlC to determine its potential for this application.

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Putting the sun in a bottle: Royal Society Kavli Lecture on fusion energy generation

By Jonathon Foreman / February 19, 2021

Moving away from carbon-based energy and toward sustainable energy infrastructure is important for long-term world health. The latest Kavli Lecture hosted by The Royal Society looks at the possible role of fusion energy in our sustainable energy future.

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Video: Celebrating Nuclear Science Week

By Lisa McDonald / October 21, 2020

This week is Nuclear Science Week! Celebrate the contributions that nuclear science makes to energy, space, and healthcare fields through videos and virtual events coordinated by the Nuclear Science Week national steering committee.

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Peeking at the past—Bricks used to characterize past presence of radioactive materials

By Lisa McDonald / April 7, 2020

For successful nuclear nonproliferation initiatives, authorities must be able to detect and characterize radioactive sources—but how can they do so if the radioactive material was removed before they arrived? Researchers at North Carolina State University developed a technique that allows retrospective characterization of radioactive sources.

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Understanding tungsten erosion in tokamak walls

By Lisa McDonald / January 17, 2020

Tokamaks, a leading candidate for practical fusion reactors, are moving from using carbon to using tungsten to protect a tokamak’s walls—but plasma instabilities can erode tungsten. Scientists look to understand the physical mechanisms driving this erosion.

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Preventing ASR in nuclear reactor radiation shielding concrete

By Lisa McDonald / November 27, 2018

Polish researchers tested five high-density aggregate possibilities for nuclear power plant construction and found the aggregates with microcrystalline quartz were susceptible to alkali-silica reactions.

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Vitrification process turns radioactive waste into durable glass for safe disposal

By Faye Oney / June 8, 2018

Researchers have successfully converted radioactive waste into glass through vitrification at the Hanford Nuclear Site. The test is part of an overall plan to send low-activity waste directly to the vitrification facility via Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste system.

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Preventing corrosion with ultra-thin layers of aluminum oxide

By Faye Oney / April 20, 2018

Researchers have discovered that a solid aluminum oxide protection layer can deform like a liquid, possibly protecting metals from environmental elements. Their discovery could solve degradation problems that contribute to rust and corrosion.

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