This year, the MiNES (Materials in Nuclear Energy Systems) conference was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Run by TMS (The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society), the MiNES conference serves as a professional destination for the fission reactor materials community to share their research and discuss the latest developments in the field.
As part of the fuels and actinide materials fabrication methods session, Simon Middleburgh made a presentation on the current research being conducted in Advanced Technology Fuel (ATF) accelerated development at Bangor University.
Simon’s presentation discussed how ATFs are being developed using both experimental efforts and modelling methods.
The focus of Simon’s presentation was to highlight the advances made in multi-kernel fuel and composite fuel concepts that incorporate higher uranium densities (e.g., with the inclusion of uranium nitride), burnable absorbers (for example ZrB2), high thermal conductivity or a combination thereof. The experimental techniques applied have an eye to industrial scalability, and the modelling techniques consider not only the materials aspects but also the fuel cycle economics.