Scientists from Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Berkeley national laboratories have just begun the third phase of a years-long experiment to understand how salt and very salty water behave near hot nuclear waste containers in a salt-bed repository.Salt’s unique physical properties can be used to provide safe disposal of radioactive waste, said Kristopher Kuhlman, a Sandia geoscientist and technical lead for the project.
Two PNNL interns are behind recent innovation in real-time testing and continuous monitoring for pH and the concentration of chemicals of interest in chemical solutions; outcomes have applicability not only to nuclear, but to industries.
A multidisciplinary team of scientists has used the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User facility located at the DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, to investigate how high-temperature molten salts corrode metal alloys.
Commercially available materials may be a potentially scalable platform for trapping gases for nuclear energy and other applications.
A number of new nuclear reactor designs, such as small modular reactors and non-light water reactors, have been developed over the past 10 to 15 years. In order to help the Nuclear Regulatory Commission evaluate the safety of the next generation of reactors, fuel cycle facilities and fuel technologies, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have been expanding their severe accident modeling computer code, called Melcor, to work with different reactor geometries, fuel types and coolant systems.
Four first-of-a-kind 3D-printed fuel assembly brackets, produced at the Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have been installed and are now under routine operating conditions at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Unit 2 in Athens, Alabama.
Since its founding, Argonne has employed and partnered with innovators whose contributions have dramatically pushed the frontiers of our understanding and improved the world.
Federal and industry-matched funding will move 11 PNNL technologies closer to commercialization where they will help bolster U.S. competitiveness.
PNNL’s Framework for Assessment of Complex Environmental Tradeoffs (FACET) is designed to navigate and rigorously evaluate competing environmental, economic, and social impacts to help make decisions more equitable. In an example scenario prepared using publicly available data, FACET was applied to predict tradeoffs facing the Colorado River and to balance competing demands of river flow and temperature, along with withdrawals for cities, crop irrigation, and power generation.
A new report finds small modular reactors could provide competitively priced electricity in Washington state’s future electricity market.
PNNL researchers developed an innovative capability to rapidly separate, monitor, and tightly control specific uranium and plutonium ratios in real-time—an important achievement in efficiently controlling the resulting product and safeguarding nuclear material.
A new study in the journal Risk Analysis suggests that countries representing more than 80 percent of potential growth in low-carbon electricity demand—in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa—may lack the economic or institutional quality to deploy nuclear power to meet their energy needs. The authors suggest that if nuclear power is to safely expand its role in mitigating climate change, countries need to radically improve their ability to manage the technology.
For a quarter century, PNNL has played a pivotal role in assessing environmental justice related to energy siting. The Lab partners with agencies to identify and engage minority, low-income, or other historically disadvantaged populations in regulatory decision-making for large, complex federal projects.
Nuclear physicist Caroline Nesaraja of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory evaluates nuclear data. Her work ensures that the scientific community has the best nuclear data for fundamental research and applications including medical isotopes, nuclear energy and national and international security.
On the looming 10th anniversary of the Fukushima disaster at the Daiichi Power Station in Japan, PNNL looks back at the science and solidarity it has shared with Fukushima and its nuclear cleanup effort.
Innovative technology combines continuous, remote, real-time testing and monitoring of byproduct gasses, paving the way for faster advanced reactor development and testing.
PNNL streamlines environmental review process for advanced reactors, saving years and millions of dollars toward deployments of new nuclear power projects.
Ettringite, a mineral found in cement, can latch on to and detain the wily and worrisome radioactive contaminant, pertechnetate.
Sandia National Laboratories is outfitting three 22.5-ton, 16.5-feet-long stainless-steel storage canisters with heaters and instrumentation to simulate nuclear waste so researchers can study their durability. The three canisters, which arrived in mid-November and have never contained any nuclear materials, will be used to study how much salt gathers on canisters over time. Sandia will also study the potential for cracks caused by salt- and stress-induced corrosion with additional canisters that will be delivered during the next stage of the project.
PPPL scientists have developed a unique program to track the zig-zagging dance of hot, charged plasma particles that fuel fusion reactions.
A shoe scanner that would allow people to keep on their footwear as they pass through airport security and a cement that repairs itself are among five PNNL R&D 100 Award recipients. PNNL now has garnered a total of 116 since the program’s inception.
Researchers thought yttrium hydride would be an ideal moderator for the new Transformational Challenge Reactor, but no one had yet figured out how to produce the large, crack-free pieces needed. An ORNL scientist developed a process and invented a machine to do that.
The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded $65 million in grants to support research that will advance safe, reliable, and clean nuclear energy. Among those projects are two led by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which received a combined total of $1.2 million.
Through DOE’s Technology Commercialization Fund, the national lab-startup team will develop “nanocages” for nuclear applications.
Molten salt reactors could become a cornerstone of nuclear energy. Researchers at MIT are using neutron scattering at ORNL to better understand how salt solutions behave in nuclear environments. Modeling those behaviors could lead to significant gains in commercializing molten salt reactors for carbon-free power production.
As an intern for the National Nuclear Data Center, Pedro Rodríguez is working to resolve a 70-year-old problem in nuclear physics. He and his mentor are figuring out a way to simplify one of the steps for ensuring nuclear reactors can be modeled correctly.
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are refining their design of a 3D-printed nuclear reactor core, scaling up the additive manufacturing process necessary to build it, and developing methods to confirm the consistency and reliability of its printed components.
Argonne scientists and engineers are looking toward AI — specifically, machine learning — to help us better understand the mechanics that govern nuclear reactors.
A software package, 10 years in the making, that can predict the behavior of nuclear reactors’ cores with stunning accuracy has been licensed commercially for the first time.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Tennessee Valley Authority have signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate a new generation of flexible, cost-effective advanced nuclear reactors.
Profiled is physicist Gaute Hagen of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, who runs advanced models on powerful supercomputers to explore how protons and neutrons interact to “build” an atomic nucleus from scratch.
Six new nuclear reactor technologies are planned to commercially deploy between 2030 and 2040. ORNL’s Weiju Ren heads a project managing structural materials information. This conversation explores challenges and opportunities in sharing nuclear materials knowledge internationally.
Tadpoles can be used to measure the amount of radiocesium, a radioactive material, in aquatic environments, according to new research from University of Georgia scientists. Whether from nuclear accidents, global fallout from weapons testing, or production of nuclear energy, tadpoles…