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About SRNL - Directorates

Science and Technology

Ralph James
Associate Laboratory Director

Materials Science and Technology

MS&T is the technology engine for innovation in providing system solutions for materials.  Our key capabilities include:

  • Advanced materials synthesis, development, testing and qualification
  • Environmental effects on materials
  • Corrosion science and technology
  • Materials reliability
  • Nuclear materials storage and surveillance

MS&T provides materials technology and materials systems solutions in support of the nation's needs for security, energy, and the environment.

Nuclear Materials Storage & Surveillance
DOE Authority for Spent Nuclear Fuel and Plutonium

SRNL leads the DOE complex in technology development for safe interim storage and materials/storage system surveillance of plutonium and spent nuclear fuel.  The technical basis for safe storage is founded on comprehensive environmental testing and materials modeling, and destructive and non-destructive examination. Activities include package destructive examination and life extension testing and modeling, NNSA package life extension testing, spent nuclear fuel basin management, and dry storage demonstration for high burn-up spent nuclear fuel.

High Level Waste
Tank Integrity & Life Management, High Temperature Materials for Vitrification

SRNL leads the DOE complex in the component technologies and structural integrity demonstrations for extended service life of high level waste storage systems.  The component technologies include corrosion science, fracture mechanics, remote non-destructive examination, and materials modeling.  Work is in progress to develop a single, integrated life management program led by SRNL for SRS and Hanford tanks.  Through the Environmental Management International Programs, further development of cold-crucible technologies for waste processing is in progress.  Life extension and management of present melters and development of advanced materials for resistance to high temperature corrosion and erosion-corrosion are being developed.

Defense Programs
Tritium Effects on Materials; Process Development for Tritium Applications; Reservoir Structural Integrity; Tritium Production and Extraction

SRNL leads the DOE complex in the study of tritium-exposed materials, fully integrated with the design agency laboratories.  The core technology areas include characterization and modeling the effects of aging of hydrogen isotopes on steel and polymeric materials systems.  Emergent SRNL technologies include Tritium-Producing Burnable Absorber Rod performance characterization.

Non Proliferation & Global Threat Reduction
Plutonium, Spent Nuclear Fuel, and Radiological Sources

SRNL plays a prominent role for the NNSA Global Threat Reduction Initiative Program in recovery and return of plutonium, spent nuclear fuel, and other radiological materials.  The activities include development of specialized systems for materials characterization and stabilization, and system deployment strategies.

Materials for Energy Application
Advanced Nuclear Fuels Materials, Next Generation Nuclear Plant, Fuel Cycle Research and Development; Hydrogen and Fuel Cells

SRNL plays strong role in Department of Energy programs for nuclear fuel waste form development and a growing role in advanced fuel development.  SRNL has Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) and Plant Directed Research and Development (PDRD) research activities in advanced fuel cell materials and purification/separation membrane technologies.  Additional work through DOE in advanced fuel cell and battery development is also underway.




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