Navigation Links
Researchers at GW receive federal funds to study the effect earthquakes have on nuclear reactors
Date:6/8/2012

WASHINGTON A team of George Washington University researchers have received federal funding to study the effects earthquakes have on nuclear reactor cores. The findings of the research have implications for nuclear reactor construction and analysis well into the future.

Philippe M. Bardet, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and lead researcher on the project, and his colleagues, Elias Balaras, associate professor of engineering and applied science, and Majid Manzari, professor of civil and environmental engineering, were recently awarded more than $860,000 over three years by the U.S. Department of Energy to devise a model for simulating the impact of fuel rod vibrations inside a nuclear reactor.

The researchers, all members of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) faculty, will be modeling the most common type of reactor in the United States, called a pressurized water reactor (PWR). In a PWR, steam is made from water outside the reactor core, while water inside is used as a coolant.

"GW's effort is focused on what is happening at the fuel rod level, namely, can fuel rods bend during an earthquake," said Dr. Bardet. "If they do, there is a risk that the fuel cladding, or pipes that contain the fuel, can be damaged, prematurely releasing radioactive materials into the water. Another risk is that the thimble guides used to guide control rods, which regulate the reactor, can bend as well, preventing the insertion of the control rods."

The research is part of an international contributory approach in which a series of experiments will be conducted in concert with the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) in France and the Argonne National Lab (ANL), a research laboratory operated by the University of Chicago for the Department of Energy.

Dr. Manzari and Dr. Bardet will conduct small scale experiments on the earthquake simulator, or "shake table" located at GW's Virginia Science and Technology Center in Ashburn, Va. Dr. Manzari and Dr. Balaras will simulate the experimental results with the end goal of testing and validating ANL's Simulation-based High-Efficiency Advanced Reactor Prototyping, or SHARP, concept.

"ANL and the CEA are no-cost collaborators on this project," said Dr. Bardet. "One purpose of this project is to validate a numerical model, called SHARP that Argonne National Lab has been developing over the years. SHARP is used for designing new nuclear reactors and fuel and analyzing the safety of new and existing nuclear reactor plants."

Students of both Dr. Balaras and Dr. Manzari will play roles in the research. Several of Dr. Balaras' students will build a detailed computational model of the experiment setup that Dr. Bardet and Dr. Manzari are designing.

"It will be a high-fidelity model able to provided detailed information of the dynamics of the overall system," said Dr. Balaras.

Meanwhile Dr. Manzari's student will assist in the design of the test section of the support structure which include testing on the shake table and performing some numerical simulations associated with the infrastructure of a reactor. All the experiments will take place at the VSTC campus.

"One of the main questions we are trying to address is can fuel assemblies containing the nuclear fuel be damaged during an earthquake?" said Dr. Bardet. "There are no accurate tools to address this question."


'/>"/>

Contact: Latarsha Gatlin
lgatlin@gwu.edu
202-994-5631
George Washington University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study by UC Santa Barbara researchers suggests that bacteria communicate by touch
2. UC Santa Barbara researchers discover genetic link between visual pathways of hydras and humans
3. Researchers attempt to solve problems of antibiotic resistance and bee deaths in one
4. UNH researchers find African farmers need better climate change data to improve farming practices
5. Ottawa researchers to lead world-first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for septic shock
6. Researchers uncover molecular pathway through which common yeast becomes fungal pathogen
7. Researchers print live cells with a standard inkjet printer
8. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
9. Researchers reveal how a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity
10. Researchers discover novel therapy for Crohns disease
11. New paper by Notre Dame researchers describes method for cleaning up nuclear waste
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... The Weather Company , an IBM Business (NYSE: IBM ... which consumers will be able to interact with IBM Watson ... or text and receive relevant information about the product or ... long sought an advertising solution that can create a one-to-one ... valuable; and can scale across millions of interactions and touchpoints. ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited ... with VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt ...  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches ... increases both security and usability. ... about this new partnership. "This marketing ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of ... MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a ... projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex biometric ... combination of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It ... and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Cancer experts from Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, and ... new and helpful biomarker for malignant pleural mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just published ... , Biomarkers are components in the blood, tissue or body fluids that ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 27, 2016  Liquid Biotech USA ... of a Sponsored Research Agreement with The University ... (CTCs) from cancer patients.  The funding will be ... correlate with clinical outcomes in cancer patients undergoing ... then be employed to support the design of ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial ... Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more ... the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical ... novel compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, ... been granted Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. ... of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. ... designed to inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting ...
Breaking Biology Technology: