Three Penn State University-led projects have received more than $1.6
million in combined research and development grants from the U.S. Department of
Energy’s Nuclear Energy University Programs.
NEUP awarded $632,000 to Arthur Motta, chair of nuclear engineering, for
“Anisotropic Azimuthal Power and Temperature Distribution on Fuel Rod:
Impact on Hydride Distribution.”
The project aims to better identify the safety margins of irradiated fuel
rods, which when exposed to the reactor environment during operation can pick
up hydrogen. Motta will estimate the concentration factors of hydrogen in
various rod locations, leading to safer and more economical use of nuclear
fuel. Kostadin Ivanov, Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and
Maria Avramova, assistant professor of nuclear engineering, are collaborating
Motta also is co-principal investigator on “Fundamental Studies of the
Role of Grain Boundaries on Uniform Corrosion of Advanced Reactor
Materials,” which received $1.1 million. This project will use
state-of-the-art experimental techniques to understand the fundamentals of
corrosion protectiveness of alloys used for nuclear fuel cladding, with the aim
of designing improved alloys for extended service.
Cliff Lissenden, professor of engineering science and mechanics, received
$456,000 for “High Temperature Transducers for Online Monitoring of
Microstructure Evolution.” This effort will focus on developing an
ultrasonic condition-monitoring method to detect and characterize the damage that
precedes fatigue cracks in structural components. Collaborating on this project
is Bernhard Tittmann, Schell Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics.
Tarasankar DebRoy, professor of materials science and engineering, was
awarded $536,000 for “Laser-Arc Hybrid Welding of Thick Section Ni-base
Alloys—Advanced Modeling and Experiments.” His collaborator is Wei Zhang,
a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
This year, NEUP is funding 51 university projects with an estimated total of
more than $39 million. The program has provided more than $80 million for
dozens of U.S.
colleges and universities since 2009.