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A day in the life of the nuclear community
The November issue of Nuclear News is focused on the individuals who make up our nuclear community.
We invited a small group of those individuals to tell us about their day-to-day work in some of the many occupations and applications of nuclear science and technology, and they responded generously. They were ready to tell us about the part they play, together with colleagues and team members, in supplying clean energy, advancing technology, protecting safety and health, and exploring fundamental science.
In these pages, we see a community that can celebrate both those workdays that record progress moving at a steady pace and the exceptional days when a goal is reached, a briefing is delivered, a contract goes through, a discovery is made, or an unforeseen challenge is overcome.
The Nuclear News staff hopes that you enjoy meeting these members of our community—or maybe get reacquainted with friends—through their words and photos.
Dakota J. Allen, Stuart R. Blair, Marshall G. Millett, Martin E. Nelson
Nuclear Technology | Volume 205 | Number 6 | June 2019 | Pages 755-765
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2018.1524228
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
This project investigated the use of uranium nitride (UN) and uranium carbide (UC) reactor fuel and compared their performance to uranium oxide (UO2) in a nuclear reactor for space-based applications. As a baseline for analysis, the Prometheus Project reference reactor module was considered: a gas-cooled fast reactor using highly enriched UO2 fuel with 1 MW of thermal power output and a 15-year core life. An estimate of the temperature feedback effect on reactivity was made for each fuel type at the beginning, middle, and end of core life; results for each fuel were compared. This analysis indicates that UN-fueled reactors may exhibit a stabilizing negative reactivity feedback for increasing temperatures and that this benefit persists in the face of fuel composition changes over core life. The benefit of increased uranium loading density was assessed through a quantitative estimate of overall core weight for each fuel. It was found that weight savings on the order of 1000 kg can be realized for a reactor of this size by using either UC or UN rather than UO2.