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Materials Science at Oregon State University

Performance and mechanical characteristics of the nuclear fuel materials and structural materials used in Nuclear Power Plants

Date: Thursday, Feb 3rd
Presenter: Alexei Soldatov and Anh Mai, Nuclear Engineering, Oregon State University


The presentation on the seminar will be focused on the actual issues related with nuclear fuel martial studies. The presentation will provide basic information about nuclear fuel, nuclear, chemical and structural changes in the nuclear fuel resulted from nuclear fission and irradiation of the nuclear fuel. The current limiting parameters and factors will be discussed, and options for a nuclear fuel will be presented.

Presentation Ouline:
1) Nuclear Reactors and Nuclear Fuel – Functions, general safety and performance requirements.
2) Nuclear reactions, Slow and Fast neutrons, Effect of the minor actinides and fission products in nuclear fuel on to fuel properties. Multiplication Factor, Burnable absorbers
3) Depletion / Burn-up terminology.
4) Nuclear Fuel Materials:
Metallic Fuel (Uranium metal, Uranium alloys)
Ceramic Oxide Fuel (UO2)
Main properties, technology, meta-states.
Mixed Oxide Fuel (Mixture of Uranium and Plutonium oxides)
Uranium Carbide Fuel and Uranium Nitride Fuel
5) Fuel assembly Design. Fuel assembly materials (Zirconium Alloys).
6) Reactor control mechanism, options, problems (Materials of a control Rods, Soluble boron)
7) Known effects in the Oxide Fuel (radiation growth, swelling, form-shape transformation, fission gas migration inside uranium oxide fuel pellet, fuel thermal conductivity, pellet-cladding interaction, filler gas pressure effects).
8) Nuclear fuel failure mechanisms.
9) Current status of commercial reactors fuel.
10) Major challenges and areas for studies of the commercial reactor fuel
(Increase of fuel burnup, MOX fuel, New burnable absorbers, Fuel for Fast and High Temperature reactors).
11) Codes and methods for a fuel performance simulation (Presented by Anh Mai)

Alexei Soldatov:
2006- 2009
Ph.D. on Nuclear Engineering, Oregon State University, OR, USA
“Design and analysis of a nuclear reactor core for innovative small light water reactors”

2002 - 2004
M.S. on Technical Nuclear Physics Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI)
Master thesis on “Innovative Nuclear fuel Cycle technologies analysis and evaluation, using criteria of IAEA INPRO project”, (“Diploma with excellence”)

1997 – 2002
B.S. on Nuclear Engineering Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPhI)
BS thesis on “Utilization of weapon grade plutonium in commercial WWER – 1000 reactors”, (“Diploma with excellence”)

1999 – 2000
Oregon State University. Nuclear Engineering and Language practice sponsored by Russian President’s scholarships program.

Anh Mai
Oregon State University
- M.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering, expected June 2011
University of California, Berkeley
- B.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering, May 2008