The Center for Material Science of Nuclear Fuels (CMSNF) lead by Idaho National Laboratory was established in 2009 to develop a first principles based understanding of the impact of complex defect structures on thermal transport in irradiated UO2 nuclear fuel and to develop an experimentally validated multiscale framework for the relevant thermal transport mechanisms. CMSNF is a multi-institutional effort that integrates the physics of thermal transport in crystalline solids with microstructure science under irradiation.

CMSNF is one of 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.



On 08-April-2013, CMSNF researchers Judy Pang and Ben Larson of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Alex Chernatynskiy and Simon Phillpot of the University of Florida have published a paper on Physical Review Letters (PRL 110, 157401, 2013), in collaboration with William Buyers of National Research Council, Canada and Mark Lumsden of ORNL.  In this work, they have successfully determined the contributions of individual phonon branches to the thermal conductivity of UO2 using both neutron scattering experiments and first-principles calculations.