The URANUM is an experimental lab dedicated to nuclear fuel engineering and radiation materials science at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Department of Nuclear Engineering. We are mainly interested in metallurgy, thermophysics, and irradiation behavior of uranium alloys and compounds as nuclear fuel in and outside of nuclear reactors. Some other materials that have to suffer radiation damage are also of our interest, such as zirconium alloys, stainless steels, and Al-B4C metal matrix composite (MMC) neutron absorbers.


Our lab capabilities are as follows:

1) Spark Plasma Sinter (SPS) and MicroWave Sinter (MWS) for speedy fabrication of high density UO2 and other ceramic nuclear fuels (mainly UN and U3Si2);

2) Conventional Sinter (CS) equipped with gas control system for stoichiometry-specific fabrication of UO2 fuel;

3) Glove Box (GB) equipped with two furnaces for air-controlled uranium compound powder preparation, pelletization, alloy melt casting and heat treatment;

4) Laser Flash Analyzer (LFA) for thermal conductivity measurement up to 1250 °C;

5) Simultaneous Differential Scanning Calorimeter-ThermoGravimetric Analyzer (DSC-TGA) for phase transformation measurement up to 1450 °C;

6) SEM/EDS and high temperature (1500 °C) X-ray Diffractometer (XRD) for microscale characterization and crystallography of nuclear fuel materials;

7) FIB-SEM and HR-TEMs for nanoscale metallurgy are available at UNIST Central Research Facility (UCRF);

8) Gas and metal heavy Ion accelerators equipped with high temperature (600 °C) three-point-bending moment (up to 100 MPa) irradiation chamber for the experimental simulation of radiation damage in nuclear reactor and other systems are available in KOMAC branch of Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) located in the city of Gyeongju (45 minutes driving from UNIST).

The URANUM laboratory is very young (est. 2016, effectively), and it keeps expanding both capability- and expertise-wise. We are officially welcoming any international cooperation.

Please not hesitate to contact us via email, SJAHN99 AT UNIST DOT AC DOT KR.

Sangjoon Ahn

Principal Investigator, UNIST RAdioactive NUclear Materials (URANUM) Laboratory

19 April 2019