MIT Department: Nuclear Science and Engineering
Undergraduate Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Faculty Mentor: Michael Short
I am a second-year undergraduate at UC Santa Cruz studying electrical engineering. I am interested in the development of terrestrial nuclear fusion as a means of producing mass amounts of clean energy. During high school, I built an inertial electrostatic confinement fusion reactor. Since building my reactor, I have been doing research on my device and am hoping to establish a plasma science research laboratory at my university. My goal is to contribute to the development of fusion technology through experimental research. In addition to my passion for science, I love to cook, play jazz piano, and play video games with my friends.
2018 Research Abstract
Transient Grating Spectroscopy Analysis of Irradiated
Cast Austenitic Steel for Light Water Reactor Life Extension
Kuba Anglin, Michael Short
Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Transient Grating Spectroscopy (TGS) provides real-time feedback of various material properties in a method that is non-contact and non-destructive. One of the challenges in operating light water reactors is acquiring data regarding the structural integrity of the reactor’s core shroud. Conventional methods of analyzing reactor materials require sample material destruction, which means that researchers cannot perform in-situ measurements. This drastically increases the time it takes to obtain crucial information. We have overcome this inefficiency by relating an increase in spinodal decomposition due to irradiation and TGS-measurable surface acoustic wave frequencies in cast austenitic stainless steel. Relating these properties allows us to use TGS analysis on reactor steel to obtain real-time data regarding the core shroud’s integrity. An understanding of this data will eliminate any guesswork in determining when a light water reactor needs to be shut down or can continue operation. Our research provides a new nondestructive method of reactor monitoring, which will allow reactors to operate more safely for longer periods of time.