skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: 2015 Accomplishments Report


This report covers selected highlights from the four research pathways in the LWRS Program: Materials Aging and Degradation; Risk-Informed Safety Margin Characterization; Advanced Instrumentation, Information, and Control Systems Technologies; and Reactor Safety Technologies, as well as a look-ahead at planned activities for 2017.

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: US1701972
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

None, None. 2015 Accomplishments Report. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1364778.
None, None. 2015 Accomplishments Report. United States. doi:10.2172/1364778.
None, None. Wed . "2015 Accomplishments Report". United States. doi:10.2172/1364778.
title = {2015 Accomplishments Report},
author = {None, None},
abstractNote = {This report covers selected highlights from the four research pathways in the LWRS Program: Materials Aging and Degradation; Risk-Informed Safety Margin Characterization; Advanced Instrumentation, Information, and Control Systems Technologies; and Reactor Safety Technologies, as well as a look-ahead at planned activities for 2017.},
doi = {10.2172/1364778},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed May 31 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed May 31 00:00:00 EDT 2017}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • A summary of mission accomplishments for the research organizations at the Idaho National Laboratory for FY 2015. Areas include Nuclear Energy, National and Homeland Security, Science and Technology Addressing Broad DOE Missions; Collaborations; and Stewardship and Operation of Research Facilities.
  • This study reports on the effects of hydrogen isotopes, crack orientation, and specimen geometry on the fracture toughness of stainless steels. Fracture toughness variability was investigated for Type 21-6-9 stainless steel using the 7K0004 forging. Fracture toughness specimens were cut from the forging in two different geometric configurations: arc shape and disc shape. The fracture toughness properties were measured at ambient temperature before and after exposure to hydrogen gas and compared to prior studies. There are three main conclusions that can be drawn from the results. First, the fracture toughness properties of actual reservoir forgings and contemporary heats of steelmore » are much higher than those measured in earlier studies that used heats of steel from the 1980s and 1990s and forward extruded forgings which were designed to simulate reservoir microstructures. This is true for as-forged heats as well as forged heats exposed to hydrogen gas. Secondly, the study confirms the well-known observation that cracks oriented parallel to the forging grain flow will propagate easier than those oriented perpendicular to the grain flow. However, what was not known, but is shown here, is that this effect is more pronounced, particularly after hydrogen exposures, when the forging is given a larger upset. In brick forgings, which have a relatively low amount of upset, the fracture toughness variation with specimen orientation is less than 5%; whereas, in cup forgings, the fracture toughness is about 20% lower than that forging to show how specimen geometry affects fracture toughness values. The American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) specifies minimum specimen section sizes for valid fracture toughness values. However, sub-size specimens have long been used to study tritium effects because of the physical limitation of diffusing hydrogen isotopes into stainless steel at mild temperatures so as to not disturb the underlying forged microstructure. This study shows that fracture toughness values of larger specimens are higher and more representative of the material’s fracture behavior in a fully constrained tritium reservoir. The toughness properties measured for sub-size specimens were about 65-75% of the values for larger specimens. While the data from sub-size specimens are conservative, they may be overly so. The fracture toughness properties from sub-size specimens are valuable in that they can be used for tritium effects studies and show the same trends and alloy differences as those seen from larger specimen data. Additional work is planned, including finite element modeling, to see if sub-size specimen data could be adjusted in some way to be more closely aligned with the actual material behavior in a fully constrained pressure vessel.« less
  • The Material Recovery and Waste Form Development (MRWFD) Campaign under the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cycle Technologies (FCT) Program is responsible for developing advanced separation and waste form technologies to support the various fuel cycle options defined in the DOE Nuclear Energy Research and Development Roadmap, Report to Congress, April 2010. The FY 2015 Accomplishments Report provides a highlight of the results of the research and development (R&D) efforts performed within the MRWFD Campaign in FY-14. Each section contains a high-level overview of the activities, results, technical point of contact, applicable references, and documents produced during the fiscalmore » year. This report briefly outlines campaign management and integration activities, but primarily focuses on the many technical accomplishments made during FY-15. The campaign continued to utilize an engineering driven-science-based approach to maintain relevance and focus. There was increased emphasis on development of technologies that support near-term applications that are relevant to the current once-through fuel cycle.« less
  • The mission of the Advanced Fuels Campaign (AFC) is to perform research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) activities for advanced fuel forms (including cladding) to enhance the performance and safety of the nation’s current and future reactors; enhance proliferation resistance of nuclear fuel; effectively utilize nuclear energy resources; and address the longer-term waste management challenges. This report is a compilation of technical accomplishment summaries for FY-15. Emphasis is on advanced accident-tolerant LWR fuel systems, advanced transmutation fuels technologies, and capability development.
  • This report examines the balance between the demand and supply of new renewable electricity in the United States on a regional basis through 2015. It expands on a 2007 NREL study that assessed the supply and demand balance on a national basis. As with the earlier study, this analysis relies on estimates of renewable energy supplies compared to demand for renewable energy generation needed to meet existing state renewable portfolio standard (RPS) policies in 28 states, as well as demand by consumers who voluntarily purchase renewable energy. However, it does not address demand by utilities that may procure cost-effective renewablesmore » through an integrated resource planning process or otherwise.« less