Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A new lab in the Radiation Center has opened up in office space vacated by the College of Engineering's School of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) administrative staff moving to Batcheller Hall. New instrumentation for a variety of research projects conducted by Associate Professor Wade Marcum's Research Group is installed or coming soon. Funding is provided by contracts from the Idaho National Laboratory's Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Currently dubbed the Fishbowl because of its large window into the Radiation Center's front hallway, the new lab offers space for at least four separate projects and corresponding instrumentation.

NSE grad students Trevor Howard and Tommy Holschuh have already set up and are utilizing stations to conduct research. Howard (pictured) is working on a project for producing validation quality experimental data for developing and confirming a new method of modeling fluid-structure interactions. Holschuh, meanwhile, is developing a new non-invasive inspection method for nuclear proliferation.

NSE grad student Griffin Latimer plans to set up a new flow loop project in the near future with equipment and instrumentation already on order. His project will produce super-high-resolution images to visualize dispersion of nuclear fuel after cladding failure. All three students are members of the Marcum Research Group.

In addition to their projects, an experimental station to characterize full-field geometry and to test mechanical characteristics relevant to nuclear reactors is up and running. This station complements Marcum's ongoing research with Oregon State's Hydro-Mechanical Fuel Test Facility.

Over the next several years, more NSE faculty and staff are expected to move out of the Radiation Center, acting on a strategic decision to open up more lab and teaching space as NSE continues to grow both in research funding, and student and faculty size.