ANS is committed to advancing, fostering, and promoting the development and application of nuclear sciences and technologies to benefit society.
Explore the many uses for nuclear science and its impact on energy, the environment, healthcare, food, and more.
The division's objectives are to promote the advancement of knowledge and understanding of the fundamental physical phenomena characterizing nuclear reactors and other nuclear systems. The division encourages research and disseminates information through meetings and publications. Areas of technical interest include nuclear data, particle interactions and transport, reactor and nuclear systems analysis, methods, design, validation and operating experience and standards. The Wigner Award heads the awards program.
2024 ANS Annual Conference
June 9–12, 2024
Las Vegas, NV|The Mirage
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!
Latest Magazine Issues
Latest Journal Issues
Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
The Sodium Reactor Experiment
In February 1957, construction was completed on the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE), a sodium-cooled, graphite-moderated reactor with an output of 20 MWt. The design of theSRE had begun three years earlier in 1954, and construction started in April 1955. On April 25, 1957, the reactor reached criticality, and the SRE operated until February 1964.
Ryan Stewart, Todd S. Palmer, Samuel Bays
Nuclear Technology | Volume 208 | Number 5 | May 2022 | Pages 822-842
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2021.1960783
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The field of reactor design is rich with opportunities for applications of computational optimization algorithms; these applications can range from preliminary core design to reactor shuffling patterns. Many of these schemes rely on sets of previously generated solutions (sometimes referred to as “generations”) to inform future decisions. While it is important to build upon prior knowledge, this process requires a full generation of solutions to be formed before future solutions can be examined. Rather than relying on a generational scheme to perform an optimization, we propose using an agent-based approach in conjunction with a blackboard framework for performing reactor design optimizations. Utilizing an agent-based approach allows agents to perform tasks independently, while retaining the ability to build off of previous solutions. We develop an agent-based blackboard system (ABBS) for determining the Pareto front (PF) in sodium fast reactor design optimization problems and compared this with the Non-Dominated Sorting Genetic Algorithm II (NSGA-II). Our goal is to evaluate the viability of the ABBS in producing a PF that is comparable with the NSGA-II algorithm. The design space consists of the fuel height, fuel smear, and plutonium fraction in the core, and we seek to minimize the reactivity swing and plutonium mass, while maximizing the burnup. The diversity, coverage, and spread of the PFs generated by the two methods are examined, and the ABBS is able to converge to the same PF as the NSGA-II algorithm. These results show that the ABBS is able to find optimal designs that are similar to those found by the NSGA-II algorithm. We conclude our study by applying the ABBS to the design of a sodium-cooled fast reactor to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium. The ABBS finds a core design that can burn upwards of 17.5 kg of weapons-grade plutonium per year and degrade an additional 195 kg of weapons-grade plutonium per year into non-weapons-grade material.