“Organization of Advanced Sustainability Initiative for Energy System/Materials”; OASIS is a unique and specialized new organization of Muroran Institute of Technology. OASIS was established March 2010 with the purpose on “R & D of Energy System Materials for Environmental Conscious Society for 21st Century and the Beyond”, where contribution to education and research are aiming to accelerate human resource development and advanced energy system material development. The OASIS activities are strictly standing on clear and realistic goal within visible range with appropriate funding and human resource.
“Facility for Energy and Environmental Material Assessment”; FEEMA had been introduced prior to the establishment of OASIS. Based on the FEEMA activity so-called FEEMA Project was proposed and was approved as one of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, JAPAN (MEXT) program; “Promotion of Advanced R & D Facility Utilization” since Japanese fiscal year 2007, which is to enforce National universities' service to industries and society. The title of the FEEMA project is “Advanced Materials R & D by Means of Complex and Ultimate Environmental Effect Evaluation Methodology”, since FY 2009. As the core of the FEEMA project, “Complex and Ultimate Environmental Effect Evaluation Methodology” and “Small Specimen Test Technology” are provided to the project applicants (users), not only for the domestic needs but also for the worldwide requests contributing advanced materials R & D for advanced and extremely severe environments. This project has been contributing to human resource development, mainly for science and technology areas, starting from Hokkaido/Tohoku regional human supply to the domestic/international one.
From FY2013, the second phase of this activity has been started under the new program name; “Promotion of Advanced R & D Facility Utilization and Platform Initiation”. To start the new program, FEEMA program was strengthened facility wise by special funding for introducing two new facilities. The one is the replacement of Nano-Indentation Machine to the most advanced Ultra-Micro Hardness Testing System. The other is a unique process facility of “CVI continuous furnace for ceramics fibers coating”. Those new machine and facility will be installed this year and will be provided immediately.
MEXT Program on “Innovative Nuclear Research and Development” has been changed from 2012 to emphasize “Basic Technology Development for Nuclear Safety Innovation”.
The Oasis proposal; “R & D of Basic Fabrication Process Technology of SiC/SiC Fuel Cladding for Extra-Safe Reactor Core” was approved as one of 12 proposals approved. This project is titled as “SiC Fuel Cladding/Assembly Research, Launching Extra-Safe Technology”; SCARLET Project. The objective of this project is to Establish Solid -Basis of Making SiC/SiC Fuel Cladding/Assembly as Japanese Innovation for “Nuclear Safety” and make-a-way to the early realization of the SiC/SiC Fuel Pin Assembly into Nuclear Power Reactors. The major goals of the SCARLET project are:
+Proof-of-the-reality of SiC/SiC Fuel Cladding as a replacement of Zircalloy Fuel Cladding in a short term.
+Feasibility Demonstration of SiC/SiC Fuel Cladding for PWR and Sodium Cooling Fast Reactor.
+Demonstration of large scale production basis of SiC/SiC Fuel Cladding by NITE-Method1).
+Technology Integration of SiC/SiC Fuel Pin Fabrication and Fuel Pin/Reactor Irradiation Capsule Fabrication with SiC/SiC fuel pin element.
+Property Evaluation of SiC/SiC Cladding, SiC/SiC Fuel Pin, at least 1 meter long, including environmental tolerance evaluation under PWR and LMFBR condition.
Also, “Innovative Silicon-carbide Fuel Pin Research”; INSPIRE Project was approved FY2012 as five year termed project. This is one of the projects of the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) program on “R & D towards Ensuring Nuclear Safety Enhancement”.
The main emphasis of the INSPIRE project is the “Proof-of-the reality” of the SiC/SiC fuel cladding based on the current NITE dry fabrication method. The main role of OASIS is to integrate current NITE-SiC/SiC fuel pin fabrication technology to meet Halden Reactor Irradiation including fuelled claddings and to evaluate environmental stability for BWR condition.
Fuelled SiC/SiC cladding irradiation in Halden Reactor requires sufficient end cap joining technology development. A wide range of joining technology R & D of SiC/SiC and end cap materials with the technology integration to fabricate shield and fuelled fuel cladding in hot cell. Based on the results from INSPIRE project, modified SiC/SiC fuel pin to meet the new reactor design will be provided
As research for effective utilization of geothermal energy, OASIS is promoting “SiC Integration Research for Innovative Utilization of Geothermal Energy Source”; SIRIUS Project in collaboration with Gunze Co. Ltd.. The DCHE (downhole coaxial heat exchanger) is the new innovative geothermal generation system, which is performed power generation by closed type heat exchanger system using high performance inner and outer tube. In the SIRIUS Project, in order to realize further attractive geothermal generation, pressurized water system has been newly proposed and this concept has been approved as a Japanese patent. To realize the pressurized water type DCHE system, excellent heat- and environmental- resistant materials for outer tube are mainly developed. The mechanistic verification experiment of pressurized water type DCHE system has been performed using Phase-2 facility. The verification of electric generation is under preparation by a small scale binary system to be constructed near Muroran area.
I do, sincerely, hope nation/world-wide supports and encouragements for this project toward the success and continuous growth of OASIS activities.
Akira Kohyama (Profile)
Professor Emeritus, Kyoto University
Organization of Advanced Sustainability Initiative for Energy and Materials (OASIS)
Muroran Institute of Technology