Research Highlights

Annual ORNL workshop highlights week focused on nuclear energy

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) hosted the 2018 Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) Workshop—an annual event that brings together experts from industry, academia, DOE, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to discuss current efforts related to MSRs....

ORNL and international collaborators deliver world-leading spent nuclear fuel database

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) provided significant contributions and coordination in the development of the Nuclear Energy Agency’s (NEA’s) recently released Spent Fuel Isotopic Composition (SFCOMPO) 2.0—the world’s largest open database for spent nuclear fuel assay data.

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Icenhour named Distinguished Engineering Alumnus by NC State

North Carolina State University’s (NCSU's) College of Engineering recognized Alan Icenhour, associate laboratory director for the Nuclear Science and Engineering Directorate (NSED), as a Distinguished Engineering Alumnus.

The award was established to honor...

New instrument will offer closer look at the nuclear fuel cycle

The Ultra-Trace Forensic Science Center (UFSC) at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) recently completed the installation of one of DOE’s most powerful microprobes that will allow for high-resolution analysis of nuclear fuel cycle materials.

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Kurt Terrani selected for a Breakthrough Award

Popular Mechanics recently announced the 2017 Breakthrough Awards, naming NSED's Kurt Terrani as one of the winners. This year's nominations highlight early career scientists that have made dramatic impacts through science, technology, and engineering. 

For more...

ORNL recognized by the IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) named Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory as an International Centre based on Research Reactors. The recognition encourages designees to collaborate in ways that maximize the use of research reactors in all IAEA...

Graduate student tour sparks interest in UT and ORNL

Dozens of prospective nuclear engineering graduate students visited the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in late February as part of an annual recruitment trip highlighting the lab’s unique facilities and research capabilities.

The daylong...

Advanced Reactor Licensing

George Flanagan, Randy Belles, Mike Muhlheim, and Mike Poore with other team members from Idaho National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory, developed initial drafts of advanced reactor design criteria (i.e., non-light water reactors) that were featured heavily in the recently...

ORNL team developing key molten salt reactor simulation tools

More than 50 years after the development of molten salt reactors (MSRs), the nuclear community has renewed interest in the technology because of its potential to provide the next generation of nuclear power production. Now, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National...

ORNL team to model ITER shielding design as part of INCITE award

A team from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has received a computational research award to model the radiation environment of ITER, the world’s largest fusion reactor, and provide an accurate prediction of whether the shielding design will...

StarCCM+ CFD model used to support low flow qualification of the HFIR HB-1 beam tube

•The cooling flow rate for the HFIR HB-1 beam tube has been slowly degrading over time
•The HB-1 beam flow has now crossed the previously established low-flow alarm limit of 15 gallon/min
•This required a new HB-1 flow safety calculation to support resetting the alarm to a...

Uncertainty Quantification in (α,n) Neutron Source Calculations in an Oxide Matrix

Background and Motivation Nuclear data describing α-particle interactions on light nuclei are essential for calculating (α,n) neutron emissions Currently, in codes like SOURCES4C, there is no uncertainty data to estimate neutron source intensities or emission spectra​​...

Fabrication and Characterization of Uranium-based High Temperature Reactor Fuel

The Uranium Fuel Development Laboratory is a modern R&D scale lab for the fabrication and characterization of uranium-based high temperature reactor fuel. A laboratory-scale coater manufactures tri-isotropic (TRISO) coated fuel particles (CFPs), state-of-the-art materials property...

Light Water Reactor Fuel Cladding Research

ORNL is the focus point for Light Water Reactor (LWR) fuel cladding research and testing. The purpose of this research is to furnish U.S. industry (EPRI, Areva, Westinghouse), and regulators (NRC) with much-needed data supporting safe and economical nuclear power generation and used...

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