In the 1960s, Oak Ridge National Laboratory's four-year Molten Salt Reactor Experiment tested the viability of liquid fuel reactors for commercial power generation. Results from that historic experiment recently became the basis for the first-ever molten salt reactor benchmark.
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory demonstrated that an additively manufactured polymer layer, when applied to carbon fiber reinforced plastic, or CFRP, can serve as an effective protector against aircraft lightning strikes.
As scientists study approaches to best sustain a fusion reactor, a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory investigated injecting shattered argon pellets into a super-hot plasma, when needed, to protect the reactor’s interior wall from high-energy runaway electrons.
Using additive manufacturing, scientists experimenting with tungsten at Oak Ridge National Laboratory hope to unlock new potential of the high-performance heat-transferring material used to protect components from the plasma inside a fusion reactor. Fusion requires hydrogen isotopes to reach millions of degrees.
Scientists have tested a novel heat-shielding graphite foam, originally created at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, at Germany’s Wendelstein 7-X stellarator with promising results for use in plasma-facing components of fusion reactors.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists analyzed more than 50 years of data showing puzzlingly inconsistent trends about corrosion of structural alloys in molten salts and found one factor mattered most—salt purity.
By automating the production of neptunium oxide-aluminum pellets, Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have eliminated a key bottleneck when producing plutonium-238 used by NASA to fuel deep space exploration.
Experts focused on the future of nuclear technology will gather at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the fourth annual Molten Salt Reactor Workshop on October 3–4.