NSUF Article

NSUF awards 33 Rapid Turnaround Experiments

Monday, June 3, 2024 - RTE, Calls and Awards

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy awarded 33 Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) Rapid Turnaround Experiment (RTE) projects May 28 to support nuclear science and technology. NSUF provides access to world-class capabilities at no cost to researchers. This is the second set of RTE awards for fiscal year 2024.

33 new RTE projects, totaling approximately $1.9 million, were awarded in this call, bringing the total to roughly $3.37 million for fiscal year 2024. The second call awards went to 19 principal investigators from 13 universities, two principal investigators from industry, and 12 scientists from six national laboratories. 

The awarded RTE projects cover a breadth of novel approaches to gain fundamental scientific understanding of nuclear materials under irradiation. Many projects focus on gaining insights into the irradiation performance of candidate materials for advanced nuclear reactors. The projects will characterize thermal physical properties, microstructural evolution, mechanical properties and defect formation in materials when subjected to variations in radiation damage, temperature, alloying element, heat treatment, straining and manufacturing methods. Other projects in this call concentrate on specialized methods to enable advanced in situ irradiation, thermal/mechanical testing and characterization, high-precision measurements, and multi-scale 3D imaging to reveal new insights into irradiated materials.

The awarded projects encompass a diverse range of nuclear fuels and materials research applying advanced experimental and computational methods. Key materials being studied include ferritic-martensitic steels, stainless steel, nickel alloys, high entropy alloys, oxide dispersion-strengthened alloys, semiconductor composites, uranium-based metallic fuels and ceramic composite fuels. The structural materials were produced by both conventional and advanced manufacturing techniques.

Researchers can use the fundamental understanding of these effects together with advanced modeling to develop more radiation-tolerant alloys and fuels, for example, using novel alloying design or techniques like additive manufacturing to enhance irradiation tolerance. The work enables the development of optimized fuels and structural materials for safe and efficient deployment of advanced nuclear reactors. The knowledge will accelerate nuclear materials development and qualification and support ongoing U.S. efforts to deploy next-generation fission energy systems.

FY24 Second RTE Call Awards

PI Name



Ramprashad Prabhakaran

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

APT study of HT-9 to evaluate the effect of neutron irradiation temperature, alloying elements and heat treatment

James Edgar

Kansas State University

Electron spin properties of boron vacancies in hexagonal boron nitride single crystals created by neutron irradiation

Jia-Hong Ke

Idaho National Laboratory

Thermal stability of solute-defect clusters in structural alloys under irradiated environments

Priyanka Agrawal

University of North Texas

Examination of ion irradiated Additive Friction Stir Manufactured metastable high entropy alloy

Matthew Lynch

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

A novel high-throughput method for quantification of materials swelling via microscale dilation techniques

Janelle Wharry

Purdue University

Synergetic Effects of Irradiation, Temperature, and Strain on Ordering in Ni-Based Alloys

Morgan Smith

Purdue University

Porosity Evolution in High Burnup and Low Irradiation Temperature U-10wt.%Zr Fuel Subregions

Andrea Mattera

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Measurement of Fission Product production yields

Maria Okuniewski

Purdue University

Low fluence effects of neutron irradiation on the phase evolution of U-10wt.%Zr specimens

Indrajit Charit

University of Idaho

TEM characterization of neutron irradiated HT-9 as a function of irradiation temperature and dose

Mahmud Hasan Ovi

University of Illinois

Post-test tensile fractography and microstructure of HT-9 alloys following ATR irradiation to doses between 0.01 and 10 dpa at 300, 450 and 550°C

Sobhan Patnaik

Idaho National Laboratory

Advanced characterization of irradiated FAST aLEU U-Mo rodlets using Transmission Electron Microscopy and Atom Probe Tomography

Mary Sevart

University of Florida

Thermal Conductivity Measurements of Irradiated Annular Low Burn-Up U-10Zr Fuel

Chuck Marks

Dominion Engineering

Concentration Measurements of Helium and Boron in Degraded Stainless Steel Nuclear Plant Components

Jason Harp

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

High Temperature Testing of Fully Ceramic Microencapsulated Fuel

Wei-Ying Chen

Argonne National Laboratory

Irradiation Damage Rate Effect on the Dislocation Cell Structure of Additively Manufactured 316L

Soyoung Kang

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Impact of re-irradiation on strain-induced structure in heavy irradiated austenitic steel

Arya Chatterjee

Purdue University

Understanding the Remarkable Strain-Hardening Capacity of Irradiated PM-HIP 316L SS.

Amey Khanolkar

Idaho National Laboratory

Examination of irradiation effects on printed strain gauges

Artem Matyskin

Pennsylvania State University

Testing purity of molten salts – neutron activation analysis study

Xinghang Zhang

Purdue University

In situ dual beam radiation on additively manufactured oxide dispersion strengthened alloy 718

Oran Lori

University of California-Irvine

In-situ TEM Characterization of surrogate oxides microstructure under fission gas retention and reactor-relevant temperatures using ion beam implantation

Joshua Rittenhouse

Idaho National Laboratory

Nanoindentation Creep Testing and Characterization of High Temperature Irradiated HT-9 Cladding

Calvin Lear

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Direct Confirmation of Grain Boundary Roughening Using In Situ Irradiation

Kieran Dolan

Kairos Power LLC

Quantifying gamma irradiation tolerance of high-emissivity coatings on stainless steel

Nicole Rodriguez Perez

Purdue University

Analysis of FCCI and phase decomposition on Zr-lined U-10Mo specimens using Transmission Electron Microscopy and Atom Probe Tomography 

Yogesh Kumar

University of Florida

Quantification of Zr Redistribution in Irradiated U-Zr Annular Fuel using EPMA

Ericmoore Jossou

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Three-dimensional imaging and quantification of neutron radiation induced porosity in U-10Zr fuels

Todd Sherman

Idaho State University

Post Irradiation Examination of High Entropy Carbides

Kevin Tsai

Idaho National Laboratory

Temperature effects of rhodium self-powered neutron detectors in a gamma field

Benjamin Mejia Diaz

Texas A&M University

Hybrid proton and heavy ion irradiation for void swelling testing

Daniele Salvato

Idaho National Laboratory

Stability limits of the gas bubble superlattice in neutron irradiated U-Mo fuel: A 3D multi-modal and multi-scale study

Sadman Sakib

North Carolina State University

Self-Alpha Irradiation of UO2-UB2 fuel

NSUF selected these projects through a competitive evaluation process from a pool of quality RTE proposals. Proposals were evaluated based on a variety of factors including technical approach, mission relevance and scientific-technical merit. NSUF recipients do not receive direct financial awards. Instead, they receive access to state-of-the-art irradiation testing, post-irradiation examination and microscopy, beamline, high performance computing, and technical assistance for the design and execution of projects at no cost. Prospective researchers are encouraged to request samples from the Nuclear Fuels and Materials Library, a physical repository of already irradiated materials that can accelerate a research project since the specimens are ready for post-irradiation examination.

The final RTE call for fiscal year 2024 is now open. NSUF balances the distribution of funds in a single call to impact a broad group of researchers. To do so, NSUF may limit the number of awards to a single partner, a single institution, a single research group, self-applications, awards to non-U.S. institutions, and may decline proposals with large budgets out of proportion to the guidelines. NSUF may award Center for Advanced Energy Studies-only or high performance computing-only applications, even if their scores are below the threshold for the RTE call. NSUF may also restrict awards to applicants who have a poor record of completing awarded RTEs within the nine-month period or have a poor record of timely publication or acknowledgment of NSUF-funded research. NSUF will give special consideration to principal investigators from minority-serving institutions.


Click here to find current and past awards. Learn more about NSUF awards and resources at https://nsuf.inl.gov