Nuclear Materials Chemistry
Our research areas in the field of nuclear materials chemistry at RPNM encompass:
● the safety assessment of nuclear fuels for current Light Water Reactors (LWRs) and next generation (Generation IV) nuclear reactors. We investigate the fuel basic properties, its performance, and behaviour under irradiation, its chemical compatibility with the coolant and structural materials.
● the management of fission products, including their chemical state and transport behaviour.
● the development and analysis of waste materials.
Our activities are focused on the coupling between experimental investigations (using X-ray and Neutron Diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Calorimetry, X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy) and thermodynamic modelling assessments using the CALPHAD method. Our laboratory is equipped to handle uranium and thorium. Moreover, our close collaboration with the Reactor Institute Delft (2MW experimental neutron research reactor) allows us access to the reactor and its irradiation facilities, in particular the neutron diffraction PEARL beamline https://pearl.tudelft.nl/).