Basic Research Needs for Advanced Nuclear Systems. Report of the Basic Energy Sciences Workshop on Basic Research Needs for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems, July 31-August 3, 2006
Description: The global utilization of nuclear energy has come a long way from its humble beginnings in the first sustained nuclear reaction at the University of Chicago in 1942. Today, there are over 440 nuclear reactors in 31 countries producing approximately 16% of the electrical energy used worldwide. In the United States, 104 nuclear reactors currently provide 19% of electrical energy used nationally. The International Atomic Energy Agency projects significant growth in the utilization of nuclear power over the next several decades due to increasing demand for energy and environmental concerns related to emissions from fossil plants. There are 28 new nuclear plants currently under construction including 10 in China, 8 in India, and 4 in Russia. In the United States, there have been notifications to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of intentions to apply for combined construction and operating licenses for 27 new units over the next decade. The projected growth in nuclear power has focused increasing attention on issues related to the permanent disposal of nuclear waste, the proliferation of nuclear weapons technologies and materials, and the sustainability of a once-through nuclear fuel cycle. In addition, the effective utilization of nuclear power will require continued improvements in nuclear technology, particularly related to safety and efficiency. In all of these areas, the performance of materials and chemical processes under extreme conditions is a limiting factor. The related basic research challenges represent some of the most demanding tests of our fundamental understanding of materials science and chemistry, and they provide significant opportunities for advancing basic science with broad impacts for nuclear reactor materials, fuels, waste forms, and separations techniques. Of particular importance is the role that new nanoscale characterization and computational tools can play in addressing these challenges. These tools, which include DOE synchrotron X-ray sources, neutron sources, nanoscale science research centers, ...
Date: October 1, 2006
Creator: Roberto, J.; Diaz de la Rubia, T.; Gibala, R.; Zinkle, S.; Miller, J.R.; Pimblott, S. et al.
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