Dr. Gidong Kim, an alumnus from the Department of Nuclear Engineering at UNIST has secured third place for his oral presentation at the ‘2023 Pitch Your Gen IV Research Competition,‘ an international cooperation platform is dedicated to research and development for next-generation nuclear energy systems under OECD. Dr. Kim’s achievement also earned him a chance to deliver a lecture through webinar at the 2024 Generation IV International Forum (GIF).
The Pitch Your Gen IV Research Competition caters exclusively to young researchers who are either PhD students or post-doctoral scientists that have received their PhD within two years ago.
To tackle corrosion caused by “lead-bismuth process” material, Dr. Kim developed an anti-corrosion method using powder-based materials coated onto cladding tubes via 3D printing technology. He also examined optimal coating conditions, microstructure, mechanical properties and corrosion resistance to confirm its applicability to real-world scenarios.
Dr. Kim has been given this award for his research on developing a coating process to mitigate corrosion of nuclear fuel cladding tubes in Generation IV reactors (Gen IV). The ‘lead-bismuth coolant’ used in these reactors is known to cause corrosion of the cladding tube. To address this issue, Dr. Kim devised a method utilizing 3D printing technology to apply anti-corrosion materials in powder form onto the cladding tubes. Thorough evaluations were conducted on coating conditions, microstructure, mechanical properties, and corrosion resistance to ensure practical applicability.
Gen IV reactors are designed with enhanced stability and reduced generation of spent nuclear fuel—addressing a significant societal concern. Among them, the lead cooling fast reactor stands out due to its self-regulating heat control capabilities during accidents and exceptional water and air stability—an advantageous feature for power generation on ships and submarines.
Expressing gratitude towards mentors at the Korea Institute and colleagues who guided him in this crucial research endeavor aimed at achieving enduring fourth-generation reactors that capture global attention, Dr. Kim emphasized his commitment to future research aligned with societal needs.
Dr. Kim obtained his doctorate from UNIST’s Department of Nuclear Engineering earlier this year and currently works at the Korea Institute of Materials—an esteemed government-funded research institute engaged in joint efforts with Professor Ji Hyun Kim, who served as an advisor during his studies—to develop corrosion-resistant materials tailored specifically for Gen IV reactors.