UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Three Penn State-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 with Motta.
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.