On molten salts in fission and fusion nuclear reactors: Why we care about the chemistry

Raluca O. Scarlat

University of California Berkeley

Friday, September 16, 2022


MIT Building 24-213

PSFC Seminars

The MIT Student Section of the American Nuclear Society is pleased to invite you to our first seminar of the Fall semester: Introducing Dr. Raluca Scarlat (Assistant Professor, Nuclear Engineering Department, UC Berkeley) on "Molten salts in fission and fusion nuclear reactors: why we care about the chemistry". We hope to see you on Building 24 Room 213 at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16th. Refreshments will be provided.

Abstract: The chemical characterization of molten fluorides is necessary in the engineering of advanced fission and fusion reactors that employ them as coolants, nuclear fuel solvents and, in the case of fusion reactors, tritium breeding blankets. While the fluoride salts are ionic liquids, the beryllium constituent is known to form partly covalent associates with fluorine, leading to formation of complex ions in the ionic melt. The implications of this complexation on the chemical and thermophysical properties of the salt are only partly understood. This talk will provide examples of new observations in molten fluoride salts relevant to nuclear applications, including reactions of the molten salt 2LiF-BeF2 (FLiBe) with hydrogen, graphite, and transition metals.

Bio: Prof. Raluca O. Scarlat is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, heads the SALT Laboratory at University of California Berkeley, is the recipient of the ANS Mary Jane Oestmann Award, and has served on the U.S. DOE Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee. Professor Scarlat has expertise in chemistry and materials for high temperature advanced nuclear reactors, advanced reactor design and safety analysis, and engineering ethics.