This is a story idea from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. To arrange for an interview with a researcher, please contact the Communications and External Relations staff member identified at the end of the tip.
Through a cooperative research and development agreement, Hinds Instruments and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are refining a microscope that can play a role in the success of next-generation nuclear reactors. The 2-MGEM microscope, which won an R&D 100 Award in 2008, delivers unsurpassed performance for characterization and quality control of the coated particle fuel, TRISCO. This fuel, which consists of small kernels of nuclear material sealed with multiple layers of carbon and silicon carbide, will be used in Generation IV very high temperature reactors. The goal is to further refine the microscope to expand the user interface, increase processing speed, replace obsolete third-party components and introduce remote field service capability. With the 2-MGEM microscope, developed by ORNL's Jay Jellison and John Hunn, researchers hope to optimize the microstructure of the carbon layers of the coated particle fuel.
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