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Engineering Physics Colloquium

Tuesday, April 9

4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

106 Engineering Research Building

Speaker: Dr. Andrew T. Nelson, Los Alamos National Laboratory
"Development of Structure-Property Relationships for UO2 in Extreme Environments and Implications to Development of Next-Generation Commercial Nuclear Fuels"
Abstract: Uranium dioxide (UO2) represents the single most relevant fuel to nuclear reactors around the globe. Researchers at the Fuels Research Laboratory (FRL) at Los Alamos are currently working to address these challenges through deployment of advanced techniques to study the fundamental properties of actinide ceramics. The focus of this talk will be devoted to ongoing work in two areas. First, the oxidation kinetics of UO2 during exposure to water vapor has been of renewed interest following the events at Fukushim. Second, oxidation has been long understood to degrade thermal transport properties of UO2. Ongoing efforts in the modeling and simulation community have been working on this problem, but experimental data obtained at temperatures exceeding 1000°C is sparse and contradictory. The talk will conclude with discussion of the future of oxide ceramic nuclear fuels with an eye toward potential evolutionary chemical and microstructural tailoring techniques that may improve fuel performance in the decadal timeframe for deployment in the existing fleet.
Biography: Dr. Andrew T. Nelson is a research scientist in the Materials Science and Technology Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He received his B.S. in Engineering Mechanics followed by his M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests are focused on the study of thermophysical properties of both metals and ceramics at high temperatures, with an emphasis on materials for nuclear applications and development of advanced experimental techniques. Currently, Nelson is the Ceramic Fuels Irradiation Testing Lead within the DOE-NE Fuel Cycle Research and Development program and leads the Fuels Research Laboratory at Los Alamos.
Event Note:  3:45pm refreshments will be served