A life in nuclear reactor physics and design

You may have read the abbreviated version of this article in the November 2020 issue of Nuclear News. Now here's the full article—enjoy!

I have enjoyed a long and stimulating career in applied nuclear physics—specifically nuclear reactor physics, nuclear fusion plasma physics, and nuclear fission and fusion reactor design—which has enabled me to know and interact with many of the scientists and engineers who have brought the field of nuclear energy forward over the past half-century. In this time I have had the fortune to interact with and contribute (directly and indirectly) to the education of many of the people who will carry the field forward over the next half-century.

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Four universities team up to design molten salt research reactor

Undergraduate students work on the molten salt test loop at Abilene Christian University’s NEXT Lab. Photo: Jeremy Enlow/Steel Shutter Photography

Abilene Christian University (ACU) is leading a consortium called NEXTRA—the Nuclear Energy eXperimental Testing Research Alliance—with the Georgia Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University, and the University of Texas at Austin. NEXTRA was formed in spring 2019 to design, license, and commission a molten salt–fueled research reactor to be hosted on ACU’s campus in the central Texas city of Abilene. ACU and its partners recently announced funding of $30.5 million over the next three years from Abilene-based Natura Resources.