Meeting Resources

Materials in Nuclear Energy Systems (MiNES) 2021

November 8–11, 2021 • Omni William Penn Hotel • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Technical Program

MiNES 2021 will cover, but not be limited to, the following topics:

  • Fundamental Irradiation Damage (e.g., ion irradiation, defect evolution, microstructural investigations)
  • Evolution of Material Properties (e.g., bulk versus small-scale properties, mechanical behavior, in-situ mechanical testing, changes in thermal properties, changes in properties under irradiation)
  • Integrated Phenomena in Reactor Materials (e.g., irradiation creep, IASCC)
  • Advanced/Novel Materials (e.g., materials development, materials qualification, preliminary irradiation studies)
  • Fuels and Actinide Materials (e.g., novel fuel types, U-Mo, TRISO, metallic fuels)
  • Nuclear Fuel Cycles (e.g., fuel production/handling, spent nuclear fuel management, separation and reprocessing, waste forms and environmental degradation)

For session times and topics, view the Session Sheets on ProgramMaster.

Plenary Speaker

Eben Mulder
Senior Vice President and Chief Scientist, X-energy
Tuesday, November 9, 4:30–5:30 p.m.

"The Xe-100 Advanced Reactor Concept"

X-energy’s ARDP concept is a pebbled bed reactor based on HTGR technology. The Xe-100 has a continuously fueled, multi-pass fuel cycle based on the UCO TRISO-coated fuel particles developed as part of the DOE’s NGNP program. This presentation highlights some of the safety characteristics due to the choice of materials in the reactor design. Aspects of the multi-physics simulation of the reactor, its materials and associated fuel cycle will be addressed.

Bio: As chief scientist at X-energy, Eben Mulder works to maintain an architectural framework for the X-energy nuclear program in guiding design and implementation. He also directs the R&D and technology roadmap associated with the development of the program and participates in the business development process at X-energy. Prior to joining X-energy, Mulder served as chief scientific officer on South Africa’s PBMR pebble bed project, and as corporate consultant to ESKOM, South Africa’s state utility.

Mulder holds degrees in Mathematics, Theoretical Physics and Nuclear Engineering from the Technical University of Aachen (RWTH), Germany. He has authored more than 100 works on pebble bed projects and served as director of the Post Graduate School of Nuclear Sciences and Engineering, North-West University during 2006 - 2012. During his tenure he guided around 150 masters and Ph.D. students.

Banquet Speaker

Rita Baranwal
Vice President of Nuclear and Chief Nuclear Officer, EPRI
Thursday, November 11, Banquet runs 6:00–8:00 p.m.

"What’s Driving the Acceleration of Nuclear Materials Technology?"

Since advanced non-light water reactors (ARs) operate at much higher temperatures than traditional nuclear power plants, design practices now need to account for unique behaviors in material and component properties and in various coolants. Construction materials for ARs need to endure mechanical loads and often extreme environmental conditions for prolonged times while withstanding effects of temperature transients, effects of irradiation damage to material properties, and irradiation-induced swelling. Lessons learned from the deployment of the existing LWR fleet will need to be augmented with new tools such as AI and machine learning as well as new manufacturing methods to facilitate and accelerate the material characterization and qualification process.

Bio: Rita Baranwal is vice president of nuclear and chief nuclear officer. She has overall management and technical responsibility for the research and development activities conducted by EPRI with its global membership related to nuclear generation. Baranwal joined EPRI in January of 2021 and leads a sector that provides research and development (R&D) to more than 80 percent of the world’s commercial nuclear fleet.

Before joining EPRI, Baranwal served as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Nuclear Energy in the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). She led efforts to promote R&D on existing and advanced nuclear technologies that sustain the U.S. fleet of nuclear reactors and enable the deployment of advanced nuclear energy systems. Prior to the DOE, Baranwal directed the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative at Idaho National Laboratory. Under her leadership, GAIN positively impacted over 120 companies by providing state-of-the-art R&D expertise, capabilities, and infrastructure to support deployment of innovative nuclear energy technologies. Before GAIN, Baranwal was director of technology development and application at Westinghouse.

Baranwal is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society. She has a bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in materials science and engineering and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in the same discipline from the University of Michigan.

Panel: Early Career Development in Nuclear Materials

Thursday, November 11, 10:30 a.m. - 12:10 p.m.

The Early Career Development in Nuclear Materials panel session will provide an outlet for early career researchers, scientists, engineers, and policy makers to interface with, and learn from, six experts and leaders in the field of nuclear energy and materials in a non-technical, career development focused session. The diverse pool of panelists will bring their own unique perspectives and insights towards a range of topics critical to early career development including grant/funding acquisition, career trajectory and pathways, publishing standards and practices, and fostering community and connections.


  • Industry perspective: Gabriel Meric de Bellefon, Kairos Power, LLC
  • International perspective: Eda Aydogan, Sabanci University/Integrated Manufacturing Center
  • Distinguished fellow perspective: Elizabeth Sooby, The University of Texas San Antonio
  • Publishing and maintaining a career-sustaining research program: Gary Was, University of Michigan
  • Making the switch from lab to academia: Assel Aitkaliyeva, University of Florida
  • Government and nonprofit perspective: Rita Baranwal, EPRI

Invited Speakers

  • Eda Aydogan, Middle East Technical University, Turkey
    "Radiation Effects and Thermal Stability in Ferritic Steels and High Entropy Alloys"
  • Marjorie Bertolus, CEA, France
    "Atomic Scale Investigation of Thermodynamic and Defect Properties of (U,Pu)O2 Mixed Oxide"
  • Arunodaya Bhattacharya, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S.
    "Low Temperature Hardening-embrittlement Phenomenon IN 9-14% Chromium Based Ferritic-martensitic and Oxide Dispersion Strengthened Steels"
  • Fabiola Cappia, Idaho National Laboratory, U.S.
    "3D-reconstruction via Genetic Algorithms: Application to Metallic Fuel"
  • Peter Doyle, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S.
    "Kinetics of SiC Reaction with Water and Oxygen Under Light Water Reaction Conditions"
  • Sarah Finkeldei, University of California-Irvine
    "New Microscopic Insights into the Fuel Cladding Interaction Layer of High Burnup Fuel"
  • Khalid Hattar, Sandia National Laboratories, U.S.
    "Irradiation Creep and Fatigue Observed via In-situ Electron Microscopy"
  • Krista Hawthorne, Argonne National Laboratory, U.S.
    "Recent Advances in Pyroprocessing of Light Water Reactor Fuel"
  • Mike Ickes, Westinghouse Electric Company, U.S.
    "IASCC Initiation Testing of ex-PWR Baffle-former Bolts"
  • Andrea Jokisaari, Idaho National Laboratory, U.S.
    "The Challenges of α-uranium: Fundamental Understanding of a Past and Future Nuclear Fuel Material"
  • Konstantina Lambrinou, SCK-CEN, Belgium
    "MAX Phases for Nuclear Applications"
  • Simon Middleburgh, Bangor University, U.K.
    "Advanced Technology Fuel Accelerated Development at Bangor University"
  • Andrew Nelson, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S.
    "Opportunities for Advanced Concepts in Nuclear Fuel Development"
  • Kelsa Palomares, Analytical Mechanics Associates, U.S.
    "Overview of Fuel System Options for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion"
  • Cristelle Pareige, University of Rouen France, France
    "Physical Understanding of Radiation Hardening of Neutron Irradiated FeCr Alloys"
  • Isabella van Rooyen, Idaho National Laboratory, U.S.
    "Advanced Manufacturing for Novel Material Design and Development"
  • Marta Serrano, Ciemat, Spain
    "On the Exploitation of Databases to Predict the Embrittlement of Reactor Pressure Vessels"
  • Jenifer Shafer, Colorado School of Mines, U.S.
    "How Does PUREX Actually Work and What Do Chemists Do?"
  • Michael Short, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.
    "Radiation-decelerated Corrosion of Nuclear Structural Materials in Gen IV Reactor Environments"
  • Elizabeth Sooby, University of Texas at San Antonio, U.S.
    "Thermal Analysis of Advanced Nuclear Fuels during Simulated Off-normal Events"
  • Blas Uberuaga, Los Alamos National Laboratory, U.S.
    "Radiation Enhanced Diffusion (RED) and the Coupled Effects of Irradiation and Corrosion in Fe2O3"
  • Vijay Vasudevan, University of North Texas, U.S.
    "Novel Nickel-based Alloys for Molten Salt Fast Reactor Structural Applications"
  • Haixuan Xu, University of Tennessee, U.S.
    "Mesoscale Simulations of Interactions between Dislocation Loop and Point Defects in bcc Iron"

Abstract Submissions

The abstract submission deadline and deadline for the late-news poster session for MiNES 2021 have passed. If you have any questions regarding abstract submission, send an e-mail to TMS Programming Staff.

You may be interested in viewing the program from MiNES 2019.

For More Information

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