ANS is committed to advancing, fostering, and promoting the development and application of nuclear sciences and technologies to benefit society.
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The division's objectives are to promote the advancement of knowledge and understanding of the fundamental physical phenomena characterizing nuclear reactors and other nuclear systems. The division encourages research and disseminates information through meetings and publications. Areas of technical interest include nuclear data, particle interactions and transport, reactor and nuclear systems analysis, methods, design, validation and operating experience and standards. The Wigner Award heads the awards program.
2020 Winter Meeting and Nuclear Technology Expo
November 15–19, 2020
Chicago, IL|Chicago Marriott Downtown
The Standards Committee is responsible for the development and maintenance of voluntary consensus standards that address the design, analysis, and operation of components, systems, and facilities related to the application of nuclear science and technology. Find out What’s New, check out the Standards Store, or Get Involved today!
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The CORTEX project: Improving nuclear fleet operational availability
We often define noise as an unwanted disturbance, especially acoustic in nature. Neutron noise, by contrast, is a direct measure of the dynamics of a nuclear core. It can be used for core monitoring without disturbing plant operation and by using the existing core instrumentation. The European CORTEX project aims to develop an innovative core monitoring technique using neutron noise, while capitalizing on the latest developments in neutronic modeling, signal processing, and artificial intelligence.
Challenge: Establish the scientific basis for modern low-dose radiation regulation.
How: Establish the scientific basis and guidelines for the health effects of low-dose radiation and replace the current Linear-No-Threshold approach with a modern, science-backed model for nuclear radiation safety.
Background: The Linear-No-Threshold (LNT) model is based on high dose rate nuclear weapons data. Its application to nuclear reactor, medial, and irradiation applications is tenuous at best. New evidence in radiation and chemical toxicity fields is suggesting that LNT models are likely overly conservative, and the way in which they are used makes this conservatism inordinately expensive. While LNT is very straightforward to regulate, scientific evidence from the past several decades has indicated that low doses of radiation do not pose risk of cancer in a linear fashion, as is well-established among higher doses of radiation.
Today, the principle of As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) has in many cases lost the "reasonable" aspect, as nuclear power plants micromanage every milliroentgen (mR) of worker dose in order to meet metrics of dose reduction. Unnecessary fear of low doses of radiation has adversely impacted safety and enabled cumulative costs to build up within the U.S. nuclear energy industry such that building and maintaining plants is now overly cumbersome and expensive.
If the LNT model can be replaced with a modern, scientifically defensible model, underpinned by the latest microbiology research methods (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, etc.), we can achieve both higher levels of safety while reducing unnecessary operations and waste disposal costs. One approach may be to establish a generally-accepted common measure of risk and a de minimis “threshold of regulatory concern,” socialized, and incorporated into relevant standards and regulation. Ultimately, this effort could enable broader, more cost-effective application of nuclear technologies, which in turn would provide significant additional benefits in cleaner air, less carbon, and more lives saved from deadly diseases.
Last modified May 12, 2017, 1:22am CDT