Issues on microreactors and irradiation experiments planned for ANS's Nuclear Science and Engineering

December 14, 2023, 3:03PMANS News

Two teams of guest editors from Idaho National Laboratory have announced plans for special issues of the American Nuclear Society's Nuclear Science and Engineering, the nuclear community’s longest-running technical journal. Abdalla Abou Jaoude and Abderrafi M. Ougouag are leading the NSE issue Technical Challenges and Opportunities in the Development and Deployment of Microreactors, while Joseph Nielsen and Piyush Sabharwall are organizing the NSE issue Irradiation Experiments Supporting Advanced Nuclear Technologies.

The topics: The microreactors special issue aims to explore all technical challenges and opportunities relating to microreactor technology development and deployment. This includes but is not limited to challenges and opportunities with design, simulation, materials, fuels, instrumentation, controls, economics, and operations.

“The idea is that we want to highlight the unique things about microreactors,” Ougouag said. “Here are the questions, the problems that we have identified. Some will be solved or are on the way to being solved, and some will be newer questions that need work. Authors can address any of the above for this issue.”

Abou Jaoude added, “We hope for the issue to cover the breadth of microreactor types (gas-cooled, heat-pipe, and so on) and applications (remote, energy, defense, space, maritime) along with their associated technological and scientific challenges and opportunities for advances and innovation.”

The issue on irradiation experiments plans to incorporate both experimental work and modeling work in support of irradiation experiments to further develop advanced reactor technologies. Reactor material experiments typically involve exposing materials or substances to ionizing radiation, such as gamma rays or neutrons, to study their response to radiation, while nuclear fuel experiments involve irradiating fuel specimens to evaluate fuel performance and fission product retention in prototypical conditions. In the development of nuclear reactors and nuclear fuel, irradiation experiments are crucial for testing the materials’ performance under extreme conditions, like high temperatures and neutron/gamma flux. The specific objectives, methods, and safety protocols in irradiation experiments vary widely depending on the field and goals of the research.

Sabharwall and Nielsen believe that this special issue will allow researchers to share their knowledge and experience in the area of irradiation experiment design and analysis while further highlighting the capabilities that exist in the United States to support such experiments.

For authors: The submission windows for both of these special issues are open now. For more information or to express interest in submitting to the microreactors issue, contact the guest editors at and To express interest in submitting to the irradiation experiments issue, please write to the guest editors at and

For readers: Submissions will be peer reviewed in early 2024 and published online as they are accepted prior to issue compilation, which is expected for late in the year. Keep an eye out for the research at the Nuclear Science and Engineering Latest Articles page. In addition, note that ANS members have a free online subscription—simply sign in to your account at and then click here to access the journal.

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