INTERESTS OF OUR GROUP
Investigations of Accident Tolerant Nuclear Fuels.
accidents illustrate the risks associated with the present design of reactors
based on pure urania (UO2) fuel with its
low thermal conductivity that deteriorates at high temperatures and upon
further oxidation. Zircaloy cladding reacts rapidly
with water at high temperatures and highly explosive hydrogen gas can be released.
In the context of developing a sustainable
replacement for non-renewable energy sources, innovative research towards
enhanced accident-tolerant nuclear fuel (EATF) that can withstand the loss of
coolant for a long time is gaining momentum. EATF materials must have higher
thermal conductivities (κ) to prevent meltdown, a slower rate of hydrogen generation, and
improved retention of fission products. We demonstrated that high
thermal conductivity nuclear fuel is safer and longer-lasting due to reduced
The overall objective of our
research is to qualify and develop a fundamental understanding of selected evolutionary
and revolutionary fuel concepts.
investigate ceramic and metallic fuels (with κ increasing with
temperature) using the software developed in our research group and advanced ab initio methods with predictive power
that are now being conceived through a worldwide collaboration. To prevent
errors and make state of the art codes more accessible to engineering students,
we have developed an interface, which will be further updated.
Quantum Espresso, with SchengBTE,
alma-BTE . EPW, Boltztrap and
our own interface written in Python;
VASP, MEDEA, CASTEP, WIEN2k_18.2, LAMMPS
techniques include: In Prof. Szpunar
laboratory, the advanced Laser Flash Analyzer (TA-2800 system) is installed to
be used to measure thermal conductivity and diffusivity. The specimens can be
analyzed using maps of grain orientation distribution, grain-boundary character
distribution, grain-boundary structure, micro-texture, stress distribution, and
distribution of chemical elements. These data are mainly generated from
analysis of electron back scattered diffraction (EBSD) using FEG-SEM equipped
with orientation imaging (OIM) and EDS systems in our laboratory. X-ray
diffraction D8. Also, advanced 3D imaging can be used for analysis of internal
structure of fuel pellets and cladding materials using our system installed at
Canadian Light Source (CLS) located at the University of Saskatchewan. The XES
and XAS spectra are measured at CLS.
to be accepted. To our group 80% is required. This is after conversion to
evaluation at USASK. We are still waiting for a response to our new grant
application. We are interested in students who know well python and are
interested in simulations.
Please see how to apply here: https://grad.usask.ca/programs/physics-engineering-physics.php
Dr., P.Eng. Barbara Szpunar:
Department of Physics and Engineering Physics
Dr., D. Sci, Prof.
Jerzy Szpunar: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
FYI the links to
past students thesis are listed in references to this
We also include info on Canada’s top Research Universities: https://researchinfosource.com/top-50-research-universities/2021/list
Informa0on Session & Student-Faculty Mixer – Tuesday November 29, 2022: Advanced Materials for SMRs
The University of Saskatchewan is
committed to employment equity and diversity. Applications from the four
designated equity groups (women, persons with a disability/disabilities,
Indigenous persons, and visible minorities/racialized persons) are especially
encouraged for this role. The University of Saskatchewan relies on section 48
of The Saskatchewan Human Rights Code to give preference of