Los Alamos National LaboratoryFUTURE: Fundamental Understanding of Transport Under Reactor Extremes
An Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences

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Our Mission

To understand how the coupled extremes of irradiation and corrosion work in concert to modify the evolution of materials by coupling experiments and modeling that target fundamental mechanisms.

What is FUTURE

Fundamental Understanding of Transport Under Reactor Extremes (FUTURE) is an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the Office of Basic Energy Science in the Department of Energy. We are dedicated to understanding how the extreme conditions encountered by materials in nuclear reactors -- radiation damage, corrosive environments, high stresses and high temperatures -- couple to impact the properties of the material. During irradiation, high concentrations of non-equilibrium defects are created as energetic particles smash into the material. These same defects are responsible for the transport of atoms that drive phenomena such as corrosion. However, because there are so many more and new types of defects created during irradiation, the fundamental mechanisms of corrosion will change. Further, these mechanisms of atomic motion will depend on local stresses and temperature excursions that vary within the material. The goal of FUTURE is to understand how all of these effects couple to change how the material will evolve.

FUTURE's renewal

In 2022, the Office of Basic Energy Science announced that the FUTURE Energy Frontier Research Center would be renewed for another four years. FUTURE 2.0 will build upon the research conducted in FUTURE 1.0, with a focus on how a material’s heterogeneities regulate the fundamental mechanisms that dictate a material’s response during coupled irradiation and corrosion.

FUTURE 2.0 will bring together researchers from FUTURE 1.0 from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, Bowling Green State University, North Carolina State University, and the University of Virginia. The renewal will also support the addition of a new partner at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Learn about FUTURE's role in nuclear energy

Watch LANL scientists Chris Stanek and Blas Uberuaga discuss the importance of nuclear energy as part of the nation's energy portfolio and FUTURE's role in understanding materials for nuclear energy systems.

Discover how FUTURE's scientists are generating insights about how materials are impacted by the extreme conditions of a nuclear reactor. 

Radiation damage

Image: Los Alamos National Laboratory