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Fuel pellets sometimes degrade to a sandlike consistency and can disperse into the reactor core if a rod’s cladding bursts. ORNL researchers are studying how often this happens and what impact it has, in order to let reactors operate as long as possible without increasing risk.

A developing method to gauge the occurrence of a nuclear reactor anomaly has the potential to save millions of dollars.

3D printed EMPOWER wall drawing

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers used additive manufacturing to build a first-of-its kind smart wall called EMPOWER.

 Using the ASGarD mathematical framework, scientists can model and visualize the electric fields, shown as arrows, circling around magnetic fields that are colorized to represent field magnitude of a fusion plasma. Credit: David Green/ORNL

Combining expertise in physics, applied math and computing, Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists are expanding the possibilities for simulating electromagnetic fields that underpin phenomena in materials design and telecommunications.

Drawing of thin-film cathode technology

Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists seeking the source of charge loss in lithium-ion batteries demonstrated that coupling a thin-film cathode with a solid electrolyte is a rapid way to determine the root cause.

Colorized micrograph of lily pollen

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have built a novel microscope that provides a “chemical lens” for viewing biological systems including cell membranes and biofilms.

Solid radium sulfate sits in the bottom of a flask during the recovery process. Credit: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have discovered a better way to separate actinium-227, a rare isotope essential for an FDA-approved cancer treatment.

Batteries - The 3D connection

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a thin film, highly conductive solid-state electrolyte made of a polymer and ceramic-based composite for lithium metal batteries.

Nuclear – Finally, a benchmark

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.

Wireless charging – Special delivery for UPS

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory demonstrated a 20-kilowatt bi-directional wireless charging system on a UPS plug-in hybrid electric delivery truck, advancing the technology to a larger class of vehicles and enabling a new energy storage method for fleet owners and their facilities.

Materials — Molding molecular matter

Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory used a focused beam of electrons to stitch platinum-silicon molecules into graphene, marking the first deliberate insertion of artificial molecules into a graphene host matrix.