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Mathematics & Computation
Division members promote the advancement of mathematical and computational methods for solving problems arising in all disciplines encompassed by the Society. They place particular emphasis on numerical techniques for efficient computer applications to aid in the dissemination, integration, and proper use of computer codes, including preparation of computational benchmark and development of standards for computing practices, and to encourage the development on new computer codes and broaden their use.
2023 ANS Winter Conference and Expo
November 12–15, 2023
Washington, D.C.|Washington Hilton
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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Fusion Science and Technology
NRC moves ahead on HALEU enrichment, rulemaking, and guidance
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is requesting comments on the regulatory basis for a proposed rule for light water reactor fuel designs featuring high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU), including accident tolerant fuel (ATF) designs, and on draft guidance for the environmental evaluation of ATFs containing uranium enriched up to 8 percent U-235. Some of the HALEU feedstock for those LWR fuels and for advanced reactor fuels could be produced within the first Category II fuel facility licensed by the NRC—Centrus Energy’s American Centrifuge Plant in Piketon, Ohio. On September 21, the NRC approved the start of enrichment operations in the plant’s modest 16-machine HALEU demonstration cascade.
If the nucleus of a heavy atom–such as uranium–absorbs a neutron, the nucleus can become unstable and split. This is called nuclear fission. Fission releases energy in the form of heat. Although fission can occur naturally, fission as encountered in the modern world is usually a deliberate man-made nuclear reaction.
Typical fission events release about two hundred million eV (200 MeV) of energy. In contrast, most chemical oxidation reactions (such as burning coal) release at most a few eV per event. So, nuclear fuel contains at least ten million times more usable energy per unit mass than does chemical fuel.
Fusion is the opposite reaction of fission. In fusion, atoms are fused together.For a fusion reaction to occur, it is necessary to bring two nuclei so close that nuclear forces become active and glue the nuclei together. Deuterium and Tritium, isotopes of hydrogen, are used in fusion reactors. Nuclear forces are small-distance forces and have to act against the electrostatic forces where positively charged nuclei repel each other. This is the reason nuclear fusion reactions occur mostly in high density, high temperature environment.
Recreating that environment is the greatest challenge to producing commercial scale fusion energy, but it’s a challenge well worth pursuing. Nuclear fusion can produce four times the amount of energy as nuclear fission.
Last modified July 14, 2022, 1:53pm CDT