The MITR will be utilized in a research project funded by the Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, with MIT’s role overseen by Nuclear Science and Engineering professor Koroush Shirvan. The research, led by Free Form Fibers (FFF), is set to lower costs and improve the performance of silicon carbide (SiC) cladding for accident tolerant fuel (ATF) applications through the use of metal-ceramic composites manufactured with laser printed 3D fibers.
With the support of NRL staff, the SiC composite materials fabricated by FFF will be irradiated in the MITR water loop facility, which is capable of simulating pressurized water reactor conditions. This will be the first neutron irradiation experiment on these fibers and will provide valuable data on thermal and radiation resistance properties of the materials. The fibers are expected to enable novel high-efficiency and low-cost ATF cladding and structures.