Additive Manufacturing is going to play a very significant role in the future of nuclear

I’m a firm believer that additive manufacturing
is going to play a very significant role in the future of nuclear. Being able to design, build and certify systems
in a short timeline and reduce cost is absolutely necessary to the future and the health of
this industry. It’s very obvious to me that these techniques
are going to become routine in a decade or so for the production, certification and the
deployment of these systems. At Oak Ridge, we’ve additively manufactured
a whole range of materials, from ceramics and polymers to metals at different scales. Much like many other areas, where the national
laboratory plays a significant role in taking early-stage applied R&D and getting it to
a level of maturity and technology readiness level that can be adopted by the industry. We have the same opportunity in additive manufacturing. Our industrial partners can bring us very
specific problems. Problems that we’re not aware of and
we can match our technical expertise and capabilities in our facilities to answer those problems. Through these types of partnerships, we can
make significant and meaningful impact. Obviously, we are working very hard as an
Administration to try to make it very attractive to work in the United States and manufacture
in the U.S. but from a Department of Energy point of view, what we are particularly focused
on is what’s the next wave of technologies in manufacturing that are really value added
that are unique. From a metals point of view, a number of different
industries are beginning to take what we helped develop to actually make components. So, for example, GE and some of the aircraft
engines and SpaceX and some of its rocket components are already using 3D printing for
individual parts. We think that we can actually make components
for nuclear that have higher performance and we can actually manufacture them cheaper and
faster. So the question is what sort of capital, what
sort of industry can stand up much larger additive manufacturing plants…that they
can grab on to and move the ball forward and make it part of the next wave of technologies
for the U.S. economy and for the American worker.

5 Replies to “Additive Manufacturing is going to play a very significant role in the future of nuclear”

  1. We don't need new nuclear anything until you figure out how to remediate the nuclear waste. Spend your dollars reversing the radioactive elements to be non toxic. Until then, NO MORE NUCLEAR. It is the silent mutator of our (and yes, yours) great great great grandchildren.

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