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Donald R. Olander

Professor Emeritus
James Fife Chair in Engineering
4105 Etcheverry Hall

Sc.D., Massachusetts Inst. of Technology, Chemical Engineering, 1958
B.S., Columbia University, Chemical Engineering, 1954
A.B., Columbia University, Chemistry, 1953

Teaching and Research: 

D.R. Olander teaches the Department's three courses in nuclear materials: an undergraduate course dealing with nuclear fuels and graduate courses on irradiation effects in metals and on corrosion in nuclear power systems. His research parallels the coverage of these courses, with emphasis on the chemical aspects of nuclear materials.

In-reactor performance and lifetime of nuclear fuel elements are controlled by the limitation of the materials of which they are made. Metallic and ceramic components of the core must operate in an environment that combines high temperatures, intense radiation fields, and corrosive chemical species. The nuclear materials research program at Berkeley is concerned principally with the chemical and physical behavior of the fuel and the cladding under these conditions. The experiments are intended to provide insight into the mechanisms of the phenomena involved, since fundamental understanding is ultimately useful in technological design. The research utilizes a variety of high-temperature furnaces and in-situ microbalances for continuously recording reaction rates.

Areas of Interest: 

High-temperature kinetic and thermodynamic behavior of nuclear reactor fuels; performance of degraded nuclear fuels

Current Research Focus: 

Properties of UZrH fuel
Design of an on-line process for boron removal from LWR coolant water

Supported Research: 

U.S. DOE Nuclear Engineering Education & Research Award

Honors and Awards: 

Mishima Award: For seminal contributions in the field of nuclear materials, especially in the area of fuel behavior, high temperature chemistry and the behavior of gases in solids.
Fellow, American Nuclear Society
Elected member of the National Academy of Engineering, Spring 2000
Special issue of the Journal of Nuclear Materials in honor of D. Olander, Vol. 270,
Nos. 1 & 2, 199

Professional Activities: 

Editorial boards, Journal of Nuclear Materials; High Temperature and Material Science

Consultant to Duke E & S Hanford on Disposition of spent nuclear fuel

Consultant to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on the chemical effects of long-term storage of weapons materials

Selected Publications: 

"Effect of Replacing Helium with a Liquid Metal in the Fuel-Cladding Gap on Fission Gas Release" ( with D. Wongsawaeng), Nucl. Technol. 146 (2004) 211

"High-pressure hydriding of Zircaloy cladding by the thermogravimetry and tube-burst techniques" D. Olander, H. Hong, L. Sihver and L. Hallstadius, J. Nucl. Mater. 336 (2005) 113

"A New Book: Light-Water Reactor Materials", D. Olander, Nucl. Engin & Technol. 37 (2005)

"Hydride Fuel Behavior in LWRs" D. Olander, M. Ng, J. Nucl. Mater, 346 (2005) 98

"Re-solution of fission gas – a review - Part I Intragranular Bubbles", D. Olander, D. Wongsawaeng, to be published, Journal of Nuclear Materials

“A Liquid-metal bond for improved LWR fuel performance", D. Olander, D. Wongsawaeng, Nuclear Technology, to be publishe