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Researcher

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Robert O'Brien

Group Leader for Advanced Manufacturing, New Fuel Systems and Feedstock Development Principal investigator for TREAT experiments

Research Areas:
Advanced Manufacturing and Intelligent Systems

Biography:

Education:

Masters degree in Physics with Space Science and Technology, University of Leicester, 2006

PhD in Physics Research, University of Leicester, 2010

Affiliations:

Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2008

American Nuclear Society, 2011

Publications:
  1. R.C. O'Brien "Porous Nuclear Fuel Formed by Additive Manufacturing, Nuclear Reactor Materials and Related Methods" BA-991 Patent Number 2939-P14093US.
  2. H. Chu, R.C. O'Brien, M.P. Bakas, S.K. Cook "Large Scale Plasma Sintering of Silicon Carbide Plate" BA-799 Patent Application - No. 2939-P13215US.
  3. W. Roger Cannon, Rita E. Hoggan, Arnold Erickson, Bryan Forsmann, Robert C. O'Brien &

Paul A. Lessing "Controlled relative humidity storage for high toughness and strength of

binderless green pellets", Journal of the American Ceramics Society, (2017) DOI:

10.1111/jace.14982.

  1. R.C. O'Brien, N.D. Jerred, "Spark Plasma Sintering of W-UO2 cermets". Journal of Nuclear

Materials. 433 (2013) 50-54.

  1. R.C. O'Brien, et al., "Spark Plasma Sintering of simulated radioisotope materials in tungsten

cermets". Journal of Nuclear Materials. 393 (2009) 108-113.DOI:

10.1016/j.jnucmat.2009.05.012.

  1. R. C. O'Brien, et al., "Resumption of Transient Testing at the Idaho National Laboratory Treat

Reactor: Development of Experimental and Analytical Capabilities in Support of the Accident

Tolerant Fuels Campaign." Proceedings of OECD/NEA Workshop on Pellet-Cladding Interaction (PCI) in Water-Cooled Reactors, June 22-24, Lucca, Italy.

  1. N.E. Woolstenhulme, J.D. Bess, C.B. Davis, G.K. Housley, C.B. Jensen, R.C. O'Brien, and D.M.

Wachs, "TREAT Irradiation Vehicle Designs, Capabilities, And Future Plans", Proceedings of

the PHYSOR-2016 Conference, Sun Valley, Idaho, USA, May 1 – 5, 2016.

  1. O'Brien, R.C.; Wachs, D.M.; Beasley, A.A. "ATF-3: an overview of the accident tolerant fuels

transient testing campaign in the TREAT reactor" Transactions of the American Nuclear Society,

Volume 112 (2015) Pages: 355-357.

  1. Woolstenhulme, N.E.; Baker, C.C.; Bess, J.D.; Davis, C.B.; Housley, G.K.; Jensen, C.B.;

O'Brien, R.C.; Snow, S.D. "TREAT experiment vehicle design and future plans" Transactions of

the American Nuclear Society Volume 112 (2015) Pages: 369-71.

  1. R.C. O'Brien "CSNR-Aerojet Rocketdyne Cermet Fuels Research: Summary & status",

Proceedings of the 2015 Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS 2015) conference,

Albuquerque, NM.

  1. A.E. Craft, R.C. O'Brien, , S.D. Howe, , J.C. King, "Submersion criticality safety of tungstenrhenium

urania cermet fuel for space propulsion and power applications" Journal of Nuclear

Engineering and Design Volume 273 (2014) Pages 143–149

  1. Xiaoyu Zhang, James E. O'Brien, Robert C. O'Brien, Joseph J. Hartvigsen, Greg Tao, Gregory K.

Housley, "Improved durability of SOEC stacks for high temperature electrolysis", International

Journal of Hydrogen Energy, Volume 38, Issue 1, 11 January 2013, Pages 20–28.

  1. Xiaoyu Zhang, James E. O'Brien, Robert C. O'Brien, Gregory K. Housley, "Durability evaluation

of reversible solid oxide cells" Journal of Power Sources, Volume 242, (2013) Pages 566–574.

  1. R.C. O'Brien, "Development of a Radiological Spark Plasma Sintering Facility". Proceedings of:

Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS-2013), 2013; Albuquerque, NM, USA.

  1. O'Brien, R.C. ; O'Brien, J. E.; Stoots, C. M.; Zhang, X.; Farmer, S. C.; Cable, T. L.; Setlock, J.

A., "TESTING AND PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS OF NASA 5 CM BY 5 CM BISUPPORTED

SOLID OXIDE ELECTROLYSIS CELLS OPERATED IN BOTH FUEL CELL

AND STEAM ELECTROLYSIS MODES" Journal article: PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME

INTERNATIONAL MECHANICAL ENGINEERING CONGRESS AND EXPOSITION, 2011,

VOL 4, PTS A AND B Pages: 513-521 Published: 2012.

  1. R.C. O'Brien and J.A. Katalenich, "Mixed Americium-Curium Heat Sources for Radioisotope

Heaters and Power Systems", Journal of Propulsion and Power, Vol. 27, No. 5 (2011), pp. 1131-

1134.

 

 

  1. H.R. Williams, J.C. Bridges, R.M. Ambrosi, M.-C. Perkinson, J. Reed, L. Peacocke, N.P.

Bannister, S.D. Howe, R.C. O'Brien, A.C. Klein "Mars reconnaissance lander: Vehicle and

mission design", Journal of Planetary and Space Science Volume 59, Issue 13 ( 2011) Pages

1621–1631.

  1. Steven D. Howe, Robert C. O'Brien, Richard M. Ambrosi, Brian Gross, Jeff Katalenich, Logan

Sailer, Mark McKay, John C. Bridges, Nigel P. Bannister, "The Mars Hopper: an impulse driven,

long range, long-lived mobile platform utilizing in-situ Martian resources" Acta Astronautica

Volume 69, Issues 11–12(2011) Pages 1050–1056.

  1. S.D. Howe, R.C. O'Brien R.M. Ambrosi, et al "The Mars Hopper: an impulse-driven, long-range,

long-lived mobile platform utilizing in situ Martian resources", Journal of Aerospace Engineering

Part G, Volume: 225 Issue: G2 Pages: 144-153 Special Issue: SI (2011).

  1. M.S. Skidmore, R.M. Ambrosi, and R.C. O'Brien, "Neutron sources for in-situ planetary science

applications". Journal of Nuclear Materials. 608 (2009) 403-409.DOI:

10.1016/j.nima.2009.07.011.

  1. R.C. O'Brien, et al., Fabrication of prismatic fuel elements for space power and nuclear thermal

propulsion reactors by spark plasma sintering". Proceedings of: Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS 2009), Paper Number 206153; June 14‐19, 2009; Atlanta,GA.

  1. R.C. O'Brien, et al., "Production of safe radioisotope heat sources by Spark Plasma Sintering".

Proceedings of: Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS-2009), Paper Number

206155; June 14-19, 2009; Atlanta, GA

Research Interests:

​Commercial, Space & Defense Nuclear Systems and Fuels Engineering for light water reactors, micro-reactors, Nuclear Thermal Propulsion and Radioisotope Power Systems. Development of advanced nuclear fuel and radioisotope source fabrication technologies including Spark Plasma Sintering and Laser Additive manufacturing. Research to industrial scale-up of manufacturing processes. Nuclear fuel irradiation performance and safety testing. Nuclear instrumentation design and development. Direct energy and high power laser systems development.

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Last modified at 3/29/2018 2:52 PM by nora.imholte@inl.gov