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ARPA-E announces $12 million for five projects in nuclear materials science

Mike Short, MIT



The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced $12 million in funding for 5 projects as part of its first-ever OPEN+ program. This first cohort will focus on ways to enable advanced nuclear energy by overcoming challenges in high performance materials science.The U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) announced $12 million in funding for 5 projects as part of its first-ever OPEN+ program. This first cohort will focus on ways to enable advanced nuclear energy by overcoming challenges in high performance materials science.

NSE’s Associate Professor Mike Short and a team of researchers from Georgia Tech, Louisiana Tech, and the Idaho National Laboratory was one of the five teams in this cohort. They were awarded $1,694,034 for their project: Multimetallic Layered Composites (MMLCs) for Rapid, Economical Advanced Reactor Deployment. The MIT team will develop multimetallic layered composites (MMLCs) for advanced nuclear reactors and assess how they will improve reactor performance. Rather than seeking complex alloys that offer exceptional mechanical properties or corrosion resistance at unacceptable cost, this team will develop materials with functionally graded layers, each with a specific function. The team will seek general design principles and engineer specific MMLC embodiments. The materials developed will be tested using irradiation experiments, coupled with predictive models for performance under irradiation. To date, the issue of material performance at low cost has proved a challenge for advanced reactor deployment. Developing a scalable method of materials manufacturing and testing for advanced nuclear reactors could facilitate their rapid deployment and thereby reduce energy-related emissions and improve energy efficiency. NSE’s Associate Professor Mike Short and a team of researchers from Georgia Tech, Louisiana Tech, and the Idaho National Laboratory was one of the five teams in this cohort. They were awarded $1,694,034 for their project: “Multimetallic Layered Composites (MMLCs) for Rapid, Economical Advanced Reactor Deployment”

The MIT team will develop multimetallic layered composites for advanced nuclear reactors and assess how they will improve reactor performance. Rather than seeking complex alloys that offer exceptional mechanical properties or corrosion resistance at unacceptable cost, this team will develop materials with functionally graded layers, each with a specific function. The team will seek general design principles and engineer specific MMLC embodiments. The materials developed will be tested using irradiation experiments, coupled with predictive models for performance under irradiation. To date, the issue of material performance at low cost has proved a challenge for advanced reactor deployment. Developing a scalable method of materials manufacturing and testing for advanced nuclear reactors could facilitate their rapid deployment and thereby reduce energy-related emissions and improve energy efficiency.


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December 2018

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