Scientists from US including one of Indian origin have created a nanoceramic material that can used for safer, cheaper nuclear reactors.
The new material is made of aluminium oxide nanoceramic coating. It can withstand high temperatures, the harsh effects of radiation and also becomes tougher under radiation.
Potential Applications: It can be used in next- generation nuclear reactors that will operate at higher temperatures and radiation fields, producing more energy efficiently, safely and economically.
How it is different from earlier methods?
Traditionally, water has been used as the primary coolant in reactors for absorbing the heat released from fission reactions. Its use poses fewer risks of corrosion damage to materials, also limits the temperatures up to which water-cooled reactors can operate. Due to the temperature limitation it was not viable to use it in advanced reactors. Even new coolants, such as liquid metals like lead and sodium were effective at much higher temperatures, but were more corrosive to the materials from which a nuclear reactor is made.