|About this Abstract
||MS&T23: Materials Science & Technology
||Ceramics for New Generation Nuclear Energy System Application
||Engineered Ceramic Composites for Neutron Moderation and Shielding in Advanced Reactors
||Jason Trelewicz, Bin Cheng, David Sprouster, Lance Snead, Edward Duchnowski, Nicholas Brown, Ethan Peterson
|On-Site Speaker (Planned)
Advanced nuclear reactors require materials that enable novel designs and safe yet cost-efficient operation. In small modular fission reactors, the use of nuclear graphite as a solid neutron moderator will constrain the upper design temperature due to its anisotropic dimensional changes and loss of mechanical integrity. In compact high temperature superconducting tokamaks for fusion energy, significantly less space will be available to accommodate shielding that protects the magnets from irradiation damage. Here, a new class of engineered ceramic composites is presented that employs MgO as a structural matrix with entrained phases selected to serve as either a moderator with a low absorption cross section (BeO) for fission reactors or a combined moderator/absorber (HfH) for fusion irradiation shielding. Composite design is guided by neutronics for relevant point designs with composites synthesized through direct current sintering and subsequently characterized in terms of microstructure, thermophysical properties, and thermal stability at relevant operating temperatures.