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.
The prospect of simulating a fusion plasma is a step closer to reality thanks to a new computational tool developed by scientists in fusion physics, computer science and mathematics at ORNL.
Nuclear scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have established a Nuclear Quality Assurance-1 program for a software product designed to simulate today’s commercial nuclear reactors – removing a significant barrier for industry adoption of the technology.
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.
In a recent study, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory performed experiments in a prototype fusion reactor materials testing facility to develop a method that uses microwaves to raise the plasma’s temperature closer to the extreme values reached in a fusion energy reactor’s exhaust system.
A team including Oak Ridge National Laboratory and University of Tennessee researchers demonstrated a novel 3D printing approach called Z-pinning that can increase the material’s strength and toughness by more than three and a half times compared to conventional additive manufacturing processes.
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 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory studying quantum communications have discovered a more practical way to share secret messages among three parties, which could ultimately lead to better cybersecurity for the electric grid