Dame Sue Ion presents EMG Annual Lecture

Energy Materials Group
3 Aug 2017

The IOM3 Energy Materials Group (EMG) organised its fourth Annual Lecture on Thursday 13 July, at IOM3 headquarters in London. The lecture: “Materials challenges to deployment of 21st century nuclear reactor systems  – Can we do better than the early pioneers?” was given by Dame Sue Ion FREng FRS HonFIMMM FNucI.

The main portion of Dame Sue's presentation was on the materials developments required for the next generations of reactors, both large scale and the small modular reactors. These developments, mainly related to a better understanding of how materials behaviour over a 60 year period in  a radioactive environment, are aimed at answering the original question, ie can we do  better  than the early pioneers? Well the answer to that must be a definitive yes, with all the materials testing and examination that has been conducted over the years and continues today. The use of SiC/SiC composite fuel cladding looks very exciting, taking us back to the exciting days of researching ceramic composites for gas turbine combustion chambers.

Sue Ion also covered the work ongoing for life extension of the existing fleet that will be required to cover the time before any new plant comes on stream. Graphite core degradation and stress corrosion cracking of 316H and alloy 600 seem to be the presenting the most challenges with regard to structural integrity of existing plant.

During the presentation Dame Sue Ion paid tribute to Admiral Rickover, whom she considers to be the pioneer of commercialisation of nuclear energy through the first use of nuclear propulsion for submarines.  At the end of the presentation Dame Sue Ion was presented with an Honorary Fellowship of IOM3, by IOM3 President Martin Cox and thanked by Stuart Irvine, chair of the EMG.

The lecture presentation can be downloaded below.

Discussion is now under way within EMG for the topic and presenter for the next lecture in 2018.

More information

Sue Ion receives IOM3 Honorary Fellowship

Documents for download: 
PDF icon Sue Ion EMG lecture 2017.pdf8.94 MB