Ceramics and ceramists on the Manhattan Project: A narrative of activities at MIT

By Lisa McDonald / September 5, 2023

There are many hidden stories of the people who worked on the Manhattan Project, which resulted in the world’s first atomic bombs. In 1990, the late ACerS Fellows Osgood J. Whittemore and Louis R. McCreight published an article uncovering some of this history by describing research conducted at Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop refractory crucibles for nuclear metals processing.

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Introduction to “Glass for nuclear waste disposal” for Glass: Then and Now

By Jonathon Foreman / June 1, 2022

As part of the IYoG celebrations, ACerS’ “Glass: Then and Now” series is highlighting ACerS journal articles each month that support advancement in glass science and technology. The focus this month is glass for nuclear waste disposal.

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Silicon, zirconium nitrides may serve as superior coatings in next-generation nuclear fuels

By Lisa McDonald / April 19, 2022

Tristructural isotropic coated particle fuel is expected to improve safety of nuclear reactors. Researchers led by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville investigated the potential of using silicon nitride and zirconium nitride in TRISO particle fuel rather than silicon carbide.

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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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