PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 12, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) announced today that it is extending its collaborative research agreement with Japan's Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) for an additional five years, through August 2019. The joint research effort will focus on materials science, including the performance of materials in nuclear power plant environments and the development of materials better suited for nuclear plant components.
"The collaboration between our organizations over the past three years has significantly advanced understanding in materials integrity, component performance, and radiation safety," said Neil Wilmshurst, EPRI vice president and chief nuclear officer. "Japan is a strong proponent of nuclear-related research, and this collaboration will continue providing insights into how greater awareness of the performance of materials in a nuclear environment can support safe, efficient, reliable plant operation."
As one example of the value from the collaborative research between the two organizations, CRIEPI developed a technique for obtaining much smaller samples for materials testing than is possible using conventional techniques. EPRI then conducted round robin testing on the samples to ensure the methodology provided sufficient quality and repeatability. Moving forward, research will incorporate test data using irradiated samples to develop improved models for assessing the structural integrity of materials over time.
"We are extremely pleased not only with the academic value of our research relationship with EPRI, but with the practical value as well," said Mr. Hayaichi Yokoyama, Senior Vice President of CRIEPI. "This extension will enable us to deepen our collaborative relationship and pursue technical advances that can be shared with nuclear plant operators in Japan and around the world."
Research projects underway or planned for the next five years include:
- Use of three-dimensional tools at the atomic level to improve understanding of the effects of neutron damage on reactor materials;
- Development of new materials that are more resistant to radiation damage, leading to greater plant reliability;
- Evaluation of reactor vessel material susceptibility to cracking and what actions can be taken to monitor and ensure structural integrity throughout the plant's life.
About the Electric Power Research Institute
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. EPRI's members represent approximately 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to more than 30 countries. EPRI's principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, NC; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.
About the Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry
The Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) was founded in 1951 to serve as the comprehensive non-profit central research institution for the electric power industry and society in Japan. CRIEPI operates mainly by annual funding from 11 Japanese utilities, which has responsibility of power supply, and has more than 700 researchers and various research facilities for conducting experimental and analytical works in areas such as nuclear power technology, stable power supply technology, and environmental energy technology. In this way, CRIEPI makes valuable contributions both domestically and internationally to the advancement of the electric power industry and technology and thereby to the society.