Nano Science and Engineering in Nuclear – What Can We Do?


Dr. Haiming Wen
Department of Physics, Nuclear and Electrical Engineering
Idaho State University

Bulk nanostructured materials, with structural units (e.g., grains) falling in the nanometer range, have emerged as a new class of materials and received world-wide attention. They are structurally characterized by a significant volume fraction of grain boundaries, which significantly enhances their mechanical and physical properties (e.g., irradiation tolerance) in comparison with those of their conventional coarse-grained counterparts. Nano science and engineering can be utilized in nuclear field to improve performance of nuclear fuels and materials. In this talk, two new projects will be discussed involving nano science and engineering in nuclear in an effort to develop, manufacture and evaluate nanostructured fuels and materials with enhanced performance. Bulk nanostructured fuels and materials will be fabricated using low-cost advanced manufacturing techniques (e.g., equal-channel angular pressing) and assessed for irradiation performance using neutron and ion irradiation. The structures of the fuels and materials will be tailored on the nanometer scale in order to achieve desired properties and performance.