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Ceramic, Heal Thyself

Simulation Shows How Defect-engineered Zirconia Repairs Radiation-induced Damage

April 1, 2008

Contact: Judith Graybeal, PNNL, (509) 375-4351


A new computer simulation has revealed a self-healing behavior in a common ceramic that may lead to development of radiation-resistant materials for nuclear power plants and waste storage.

DOE's Office of Basic Energy Sciences funded the research, which was performed on massively parallel supercomputers in the William R. Wiley Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL) at PNNL, and the National Energy Research Scientific Computer Center at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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About NERSC and Berkeley Lab
The National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility that serves as the primary high-performance computing center for scientific research sponsored by the Office of Science. Located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the NERSC Center serves more than 7,000 scientists at national laboratories and universities researching a wide range of problems in combustion, climate modeling, fusion energy, materials science, physics, chemistry, computational biology, and other disciplines. Berkeley Lab is a DOE national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy. »Learn more about computing sciences at Berkeley Lab.