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Operations & Power
Members focus on the dissemination of knowledge and information in the area of power reactors with particular application to the production of electric power and process heat. The division sponsors meetings on the coverage of applied nuclear science and engineering as related to power plants, non-power reactors, and other nuclear facilities. It encourages and assists with the dissemination of knowledge pertinent to the safe and efficient operation of nuclear facilities through professional staff development, information exchange, and supporting the generation of viable solutions to current issues.
2024 ANS Annual Conference
June 16–19, 2024
Las Vegas, NV|Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
The reality of radiation
Rep. Brandon Williams
Rep. Byron Donalds
For many Americans, the word “radiation” is often associated with fear of the unknown, yet the medical and scientific reality is that radiation is ever present in nature and beneficial to human life. The truth behind radiation historically has been distorted and stigmatized—even the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission recognizes that “radiation is naturally present in our environment, as it has been since before the birth of this planet.”
To embrace a responsible, low-carbon energy future, the American public should be aware of the beneficial applications of radiation, instead of fearing it due to unsubstantiated hysteria generated by opponents of responsible nuclear energy.
Zeyun Wu, Robert E. Williams, J. Michael Rowe, Thomas H. Newton, Sean O’Kelly
Nuclear Technology | Volume 199 | Number 1 | July 2017 | Pages 67-82
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2017.1335146
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
This paper presents preliminary neutronics and thermal hydraulics safety analysis results for a low-enriched uranium (LEU) fueled research reactor concept being studied at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The main goal of this research reactor is to provide advanced sources for neutron scattering experiments with a particular emphasis given to high intensity cold neutron sources (CNSs). A tank-in-pool type reactor with an innovative horizontally split compact core was developed in order to maximize the yield of the thermal flux trap in the reflector area. The reactor concept considered a 20 MW thermal power and a 30-day operating cycle. For non-proliferation purposes, a LEU fuel (U3Si2-Al) with 19.75 wt% enrichment was used. The core performance characteristics of an equilibrium cycle with several representative burnup states—including startup and end of cycle—were obtained using the Monte Carlo–based code MCNP6. The estimated maximum perturbed thermal flux of the core is ~5.0 × 1014 n/cm2-s. The calculated brightness of the CNS demonstrates an average gain factor of ~4 compared to the current source operated at the existing NIST reactor. Sufficient reactivity control worth and shutdown margins were provided by hafnium control elements. Reactivity coefficients were evaluated to ensure negative feedback. Thermal hydraulics safety studies of the reactor were performed using the multi-channel safety analysis code PARET. Steady-state analysis shows that the peak cladding temperature and minimum critical heat flux ratio are less than design limits with sufficient safety margins. Detailed transient analyses for a couple of hypothetical design-basis accidents show that no fuel damage or cladding failure would occur with the protection of reactor scrams. All these study results suggest this new research reactor concept offers a demonstrable potential to greatly expand the cold neutron capability with a 20 MW power and certified LEU fuels.