FSU research group wins $1 million grant to study nuclear fuels

June 26, 2009

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A Florida State University researcher has received a $1 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for a study that could lead to the design of better nuclear fuels and safer and more efficient reactors to generate nuclear power.

Anter El-Azab, an associate professor in the Department of Scientific Computing, and his Computational Materials Science Group at Florida State will conduct research as part of a new $10 million EFRC Center for Materials Science of Nuclear Fuels. The Department of Energy established the EFRC, or Energy Frontiers Research Centers, program in an effort to spur breakthroughs in fundamental energy science.

The mission of this particular center, led by the Idaho National Laboratory, is to use better computational models to learn more about nuclear reactor fuels. Florida State is a member of the center's team along with the University of Florida, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Colorado School of Mines and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

"The Computational Materials Science Group at Florida State routinely conducts research on the microstructure of a wide range of materials," El-Azab said. "Thus, we have the experience, tools and manpower to do first-rate research on fuel materials microstructure with this new $1 million grant. This funding complements other major research grants we already have in related areas of materials research."

With the grant, El-Azab and the Computational Materials Science Group will develop new theoretical and computational models to study the microstructure changes in fuel in the extreme nuclear reactor environment. Nuclear reactors generate energy through the fission process that takes place in the reactor fuel. That energy is then converted into electricity.

Changes in the reactor fuel microstructure alter the fuel properties and can result in mechanical failure of the fuel, with the consequence of releasing harmful radioactive elements to the environment, El-Azab explained.

"Therefore, if we understand how the microstructure changes during reactor operation, the materials scientists and engineers can then design and fabricate fuels with higher reliability and performance," he said.

El-Azab is one of four executive committee members of the EFRC Center for Materials Science of Nuclear Fuels. In this capacity, he will lead and coordinate the theory, modeling and simulation part of the center.
For more stories, visit our news site at www.fsu.com

Florida State University

Related Lead Articles from Brightsurf:

Lead-free magnetic perovskites
Scientists at Linköping University, Sweden, working with the perovskite family of materials have taken a step forwards and developed an optoelectronic magnetic double perovskite.

Researchers devise new method to get the lead out
Researchers in the lab of Daniel Giammar, in McKelvey School of Engineering have devised a simple, quick and inexpensive way to quantify how much lead is trapped by a water filter.

Preventing lead poisoning at the source
Using a variety of public records, researchers from Case Western Reserve University examined every rental property in Cleveland from 2016-18 on factors related to the likelihood that the property could have lead-safety problems.

Silicones may lead to cell death
Silicone molecules from breast implants can initiate processes in human cells that lead to cell death.

Poor diet can lead to blindness
An extreme case of 'fussy' or 'picky' eating caused a young patient's blindness, according to a new case report published today [2 Sep 2019] in Annals of Internal Medicine.

What's more powerful, word-of-mouth or following someone else's lead?
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, UCLA and the University of Texas published new research in the INFORMS journal Marketing Science, that reveals the power of word-of-mouth in social learning, even when compared to the power of following the example of someone we trust or admire.

UTI discovery may lead to new treatments
Sufferers of recurring urinary tract infections (UTIs) could expect more effective treatments thanks to University of Queensland-led research.

Increasing frailty may lead to death
A new study published in Age and Ageing indicates that frail patients in any age group are more likely to die than those who are not frail.

Discovery could lead to munitions that go further, much faster
Researchers from the U.S. Army and top universities discovered a new way to get more energy out of energetic materials containing aluminum, common in battlefield systems, by igniting aluminum micron powders coated with graphene oxide.

Shorter sleep can lead to dehydration
Adults who sleep just six hours per night -- as opposed to eight -- may have a higher chance of being dehydrated, according to a study by Penn State.

Read More: Lead News and Lead Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.