Alex Carruthers is a post doctoral researcher in nuclear metallurgy at the University of Manchester. His specialism is analysis of irradiation-induced microsctructural changes in Zirconium alloys.
He will talk to us about the challenges of using such materials in a nuclear reactor.
In Alex’s own words: “High levels of radiation make nuclear reactors a uniquely challenging environment for the materials that they’re built from. But Why? The short answer is; radiation tends to make metals weak and brittle. But again, why? This talk will answer this question by considering the effects of radiation from the perspective of atoms.“
“I will start by explaining the atomic ‘structures’ that form inside materials, move on to how radiation rearranges them and why this is a problem. Finally, we will see why materials scientists can ‘cope’ with radiation in a fission reactor, but fusion causes them such a headache!“