Take a virtual tour of Argonne National Laboratory

Explore the world-class nuclear facilities at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, where we are accelerating nuclear science and technology to drive U.S. prosperity and security.
We will take you to one-of-a-kind x-ray and microscopy facilities that let Argonne and visiting scientists characterize nuclear fuels and structural materials. We will then meet nuclear engineers who can help visiting scientists run large-scale experiments that test the durability and safety of nuclear reactor equipment. We will also visit the future home of Aurora, a lightning-fast supercomputer that will harness Artificial Intelligence to simulate advanced nuclear reactors in ways that are impossible today.

Tour Login Information

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Argonne Tour image

First tour stop –
Characterizing materials

Meimei Li and Abdellatif Yacout will begin at the Intermediate Voltage Electron Microscopy-Tandem Facility, where they study material at the atomic level under irradiated conditions. Our guides will then take you to the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System, where scientists probe the properties of atomic nuclei and where the effects of energetic fission fragments on fuel materials can be studied at operating temperatures. You will also visit the Advanced Photon Source, which produces unique high-energy x-rays that allow scientists to explore microstructures and how radiation affects them.

Argonne Tour image

Second tour stop –
Real-world experimentation and testing

Next, Derek Kultgen and Darius Lisowski will guide you through areas that help test how real structural materials, components, and natural circulation processes behave in real-life conditions. Here, you will see how the Mechanisms Engineering Test Loop facility is used to investigate how equipment operates in the liquid sodium that will cool next-generation fast reactors. You will also learn how scientists track air and water that circulates to naturally cool nuclear reactors in the Natural Convection Shutdown Heat Removal Test Facility.

Argonne Tour image

Third tour stop –
Supercomputing and high-fidelity

You will then arrive at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, where Aleks Obabko will show how Argonne researchers and visiting scientists harness the power of high-performance computing to tackle many of the multi-physics challenges associated with reactor design and performance. Aleks will describe how one of the fastest supercomputers in the world can speed up design, ensure safety, and lower the costs of next-generation reactors.

Your tour guides are:

Tour Guide Photo

Meimei Li, Manager, Nuclear Materials

Dr. Li is a principal materials scientist and manages the Nuclear Materials group within Argonne’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Division. Her research covers a broad area of nuclear materials science and engineering including physical metallurgy, mechanical property (creep, fatigue, creep-fatigue), microstructural characterization, radiation effects, and corrosion of metallic materials for nuclear fission and fusion energy applications. Her research seeks to understand materials behavior using advanced characterization techniques and modeling tools to predict the long-term performance of materials in extreme environments of irradiation, temperature, stress, and corrosion, and to develop high-performance materials for various energy applications.

Tour Guide Photo

Abdellatif M. Yacout, Manager, Fuel Development and Qualification

Abdellatif Yacout is a principal nuclear engineer and manages the Fuel Development and Qualification group within Argonne’s Chemical and Fuel Cycle Technologies Division. Dr. Yacout has been a staff member at Argonne over the past 28 years, where he has been involved in different aspects of nuclear engineering R&D with emphases on nuclear fuels and materials research and development. He has more than 250 refereed papers, reports, and conference papers and presentations in different aspects of nuclear engineering with a focus on nuclear fuels and materials behavior under irradiation. He has extensive experience in irradiation effects on fuels and materials, and leads Argonne’s nuclear fuel R&D activities and activities on advanced material synthesis in support of nuclear energy applications.

Tour Guide Photo

Derek Kultgen, METL Group Leader and Principal Mechanical Engineer

Derek Kultgen serves as the Group Leader for Argonne’s Mechanisms Engineering Test Loop (METL). METL is an experimental facility dedicated to developing small-to-intermediate scale components for Sodium Fast Reactors. His team conceptualizes, fabricates, and demonstrates equipment and instrumentation and assists scientists/engineers who conduct experiments in the METL. Previously, Derek was the Lead Test Development Engineer for a leading lubricant and additive manufacturer. In this role, he created a mechanical testing laboratory for compressor lubricant evaluation, managed capital expenditure projects and served as a technical expert to customers and high-level management. He has also produced numerous peer-reviewed research papers domestically and internationally.

Tour Guide Photo

Darius Lisowski, Manager, Reactor Safety Testing & Analysis

Darius Lisowski manages the Reactor Safety Testing & Analysis group within Argonne’s Nuclear Science and Engineering Division. His primary research area is in experimental thermal hydraulics with a focus on natural circulation systems and two-phase flow. He also has extensive experience with the development and use of high-fidelity sensors, data acquisition, and control systems. He is currently the principal investigator for the Natural Convection Shutdown Heat Removal Test Facility (NSTF) at Argonne, and had led the conversion to a water-based cooling design. In addition to experimental practices, he has carried out extensive studies on scaling criteria, instability modes, and computational model with both system level and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes.

Tour Guide Photo

Aleks Obabko, Principal Computational Engineer

Aleks Obabko is actively working on advanced reactor thermal-hydraulic modeling. He currently is head of an ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC) project titled U.S.-Russia Collaboration on Verification and Validation in Thermal Hydraulics: Nek5000 and Conv3D Simulation of “Siberia Experiment, for which he received 30 million hours on the IBM Blue Gene systems. He also is a fellow of the Argonne/University of Chicago Computation Institute. His research interests include computational fluid dynamics, the NEK5000 simulation code, large eddy simulations, and nuclear reactor thermal hydraulics.


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