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NC State Nuclear Engineering Virtual Distinguished Technical Lecture
April 29 @ 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
2021 Distinguished Technical Virtual Lecture
Advanced Materials & Manufacturing in Nuclear Power Systems
Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of Tennessee – Knoxville
During the development of the first nuclear power systems in the 1950s, engineers generally selected the most advanced high-performance materials that were commercially available in order to meet the daunting (and largely undiscovered) potential challenges associated with safe and economical nuclear power. These wise choices largely served nuclear power needs well from “Generation I” to “Generation III” water cooled reactor systems. Looking ahead to potential materials and manufacturing options for new reactors (Generation III+ or Generation IV fission reactors), key decisions need to be made whether to continue to use traditional nuclear qualified materials (many of which are reaching the point of obsolescence in the broader structural materials industry) or to transition to the use of new high-performance materials. Several of the technical and nontechnical factors involved in this decision-making process will be discussed, along with the potential consequences involved in each pathway.