Advanced Materials Technology for Nuclear Fuel Research and Development

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-12ER90415
Agency Tracking Number: 87718
Amount: $149,839.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solicitation Year: 2012
Solicitation Topic Code: 21 b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0000628
Small Business Information
3013 Aztec Road NE, Albuquerque, NM, -
DUNS: 099725108
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Larry Kepley
 Dr.
 (505) 830-6986
 ljkepley@thortech.biz
Business Contact
 Larry Kepley
Title: Dr.
Phone: (505) 830-6986
Email: ljkepley@thortech.biz
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
Improved cladding materials are needed for better structural stability in the corrosive high-pressure, hot-water environment of light water reactors, not only to extend fuel rod lifetime and increase fuel utilization (i.e., burn-up), but also to stave off run- away, active oxidation and melting of the rods under loss of coolant conditions. Proposed program will develop the use of a ceramic adhesive to bond monolithic silicon carbide (SiC) end caps to hybrid monolithic SiC/SiC-SiC CMC fuel cladding. The ceramic adhesive will be derived from liquid-polymer precursors to amorphous silicon carbide, and zirconium boride (SiC +ZrB2) and bulk ceramic powders. The resulting bond using this paste will have tensile strengths over 4000 psi and will be completely hermetic. Computer modeling will be used to discover optimum end cap design. Monolithic SiC tubes will be bonded to a SiC end cap as a proof of concept. Phase I will demonstrate bond strength, hermeticity, and corrosion resistance after extended periods in simulated reactor conditions (350 C, 2500 psi steam in autoclave). Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Next generation coatings will extend fuel rod lifetime allowing nuclear plants to run longer before having to undergo the expensive downtime of refueling their reactor. This will allow lower cost of delivered electricity improving the bottom line for the plant itself as well as the cost of electricity consumers will pay.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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