Fuel Cycle and Waste Management
Materials underpin all technologies. Energy materials research utilizes experimental facilities and analytical modeling to understand and predict the physical and mechanical behavior of materials at high temperatures, pressures, and stresses, as well as under other adverse environments found in energy systems and radioactive waste repositories. Materials of interest include ceramic nuclear fuels, metal and ceramic matrix composites, cermets, structural ceramics, accident tolerant cladding materials, and waste canister alloys. Advanced processing techniques are also developed. The wide applicability of materials permits students to enter a variety of career paths. One of the most frequently asked questions when new nuclear power plants are proposed is "How do we manage the waste?" The answer involves a combination of technology and policy. Purdue is leading an international program that investigates the impact of both technology and policy on environmental consequences of waste management.