Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


Recent Developments in Understanding of Nuclear Fuel Performance


Dr. Marat Khafizov


Ohio State University


Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 11:00:00 AM


Boggs Building, Room 3-47


Dr. Chaitanya Deo


Safety analysis of nuclear reactor operation relies on understanding of physical behavior of fuel in reactor conditions. Nuclear fuel performance codes are developed to predict the thermo-mechanical state of the fuel taking into account its operational history. Standard fuel performance codes are based on the experimental data that relate thermal and mechanical properties of the fuel and cladding materials to fuel burnup. Typical parameter of interest can be a centerline temperature or address a more complex phenomena such as fission gas release. Complexity of understanding fuel performance comes from the fact that its behavior is a multiphysics and multiscale process. For instance the following 3 process are coupled: thermal conductivity defines temperature across the fuel, temperature determines microstructure evolution, and microstructure itself has an impact on thermal conductivity.

While recent advancement at the engineering scale based on fuel burnup parameter allow to model complex phenomena such as cladding failure due to fuel pellet mechanical interactions or missing pellet surface, which require a solution of a multiphysics problem in 3D. However it is not clear if these phenomenological codes can adequately describe the state of the system during conditions beyond normal operation. In order to improve predictive capability of fuel performance codes, current efforts are aimed at development of models that implement science based understanding of microstructure evolution under radiation damage and its impact on physical properties. In this presentation, recent experimental and computational efforts that support the development of advanced performance codes will be reviewed. The influence of radiation induced microstructure on thermal transport will be discussed in details.


Dr. Marat Khafizov is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The Ohio State University. He received his Ph.D. degree in Physics from the University of Rochester in 2008. His current research interests are in the understanding of physical properties of materials developed for sustainable energy applications. Prior to joining OSU, he was a research scientist at the Idaho National Laboratory where he conducted research aimed at understanding of thermophysical properties of nuclear fuel materials. He currently directs the laboratory for Thermal Properties of Materials for Extreme Environments.