NPRE graduate student wins First Place in ORNL poster session
8/14/2018 4:29:00 PM
Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering graduate student Nathan Reid recently was awarded First Place for his research in the Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS) program end-of-summer Poster Session at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).Reid's project, “Glow-Discharge Optical Emission Spectroscopy of Neutron-Irradiated Tungsten,” won from among 48 posters presented. He has been mentored the past two summers by ORNL research staff scientist Lauren Garrison, an NPRE alumnae. The work was performed as part of the U.S.–Japan PHENIX Cooperation Project on Technological Assessment of Plasma Facing Components for DEMO Fusion Reactors.
Reid’s objective was to design a mounting system for testing neutron-irradiated tungsten samples exposed in ORNL’s High-Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR). Scientists believe the reactor’s high thermal neutron flux causes portions of the tungsten to undergo a chemical change and transmute into the elements rhenium and osmium. The change can cause the samples to become hard and brittle and decrease the tungsten’s thermal conductivity, which is a major concern to the fusion materials community.
The ORNL scientists use a radio-frequency glow-discharge optical emission spectrometer to measure the depth of the rhenium and osmium transmutations. Over the summer, Reid designed aluminum mounting fixtures that held the tungsten samples centered precisely over the plasma to make the measurements more consistent, reliable and repeatable.
Working in NPRE with Prof. JP Allain, Reid has focused his graduate work on thermo-mechanical and plasma-material interaction surface properties of irradiated tungsten materials.
Their work with Garrison and Chad Parish at ORNL is a collaboration between Allain’s Radiation Surface Science and Engineering Laboratory (RSSEL) group and Yutai Katoh’s nuclear materials science program at ORNL. Currently, Allain and his group are working with Kato’s group in designing and testing advanced plasma-facing component materials that are radiation tolerant under extreme nuclear fusion environment conditions. Tests at ORNL complement in-situ irradiation experiments at Illinois, including mechanical property and microstructure measurements, composition variation in novel alloys and new radiation-tolerant systems.
Allain's group also is leading an effort to design a new materials analysis particle probe (MAPP) plasma-material interaction (PMI) diagnostic for the new linear plasma device at ORNL known as Proto-MPEX (under the direction of Dr. Juergen Rapp). Reid is active on both projects and presented part of his MS thesis work at the poster session.
Learn more about NPRE by checking out our YouTube videos!