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This division promotes the development and timely introduction of fusion energy as a sustainable energy source with favorable economic, environmental, and safety attributes. The division cooperates with other organizations on common issues of multidisciplinary fusion science and technology, conducts professional meetings, and disseminates technical information in support of these goals. Members focus on the assessment and resolution of critical developmental issues for practical fusion energy applications.
Conference on Nuclear Training and Education: A Biennial International Forum (CONTE 2023)
February 6–9, 2023
Amelia Island, FL|Omni Amelia Island Resort
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Nuclear Science and Engineering
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Nuclear energy: enabling production of food, fiber, hydrocarbon biofuels, and negative carbon emissions
In the 1960s, Alvin Weinberg at Oak Ridge National Laboratory initiated a series of studies on nuclear agro-industrial complexes1 to address the needs of the world’s growing population. Agriculture was a central component of these studies, as it must be. Much of the emphasis was on desalination of seawater to provide fresh water for irrigation of crops. Remarkable advances have lowered the cost of desalination to make that option viable in countries like Israel. Later studies2 asked the question, are there sufficient minerals (potassium, phosphorous, copper, nickel, etc.) to enable a prosperous global society assuming sufficient nuclear energy? The answer was a qualified “yes,” with the caveat that mineral resources will limit some technological options. These studies were defined by the characteristic of looking across agricultural and industrial sectors to address multiple challenges using nuclear energy.
Jeffrey C. King, Leonardo de Holanda Mencarini
Nuclear Technology | Volume 208 | Number 7 | July 2022 | Pages 1137-1148
Technical Paper | doi.org/10.1080/00295450.2021.2004870
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
A low-enriched-uranium (LEU)–fueled space reactor could avoid the security and proliferation concerns inherent with highly enriched uranium (HEU)–fueled space nuclear reactors. Recent LEU-fueled space reactor designs include a moderator to reduce the size and mass of the reactor core. This paper considers shadow shield options for an unmoderated HEU-fueled space reactor and a moderated LEU-fueled space reactor. Both reactors are kilowatt-class reactors, producing 15 kW(thermal) of thermal power over a 5-year operational lifetime. Based on the shielding required to meet established dose limits [a neutron fluence of less than 1014 n/cm2 (1 MeV equivalent in silicon) and a gamma-ray dose of less then 1 Mrad in silicon], the moderated LEU-fueled space reactor will require a thicker shadow shield than the unmoderated HEU-fueled space reactor. The thinner reflector of the moderated LEU-fueled reactor results in more neutrons reaching the shadow shield at higher energies compared to the unmoderated HEU-fueled reactor. The presence of a significant reflector in most space reactor designs means that the core spectrum is relatively unimportant in terms of shadow shield design, as the reflector thickness has a much stronger impact on the neutrons and gamma rays reaching the shadow shield. Based on the results presented in this paper, the mass optimization of moderated LEU-fueled space nuclear reactors should always consider the coupled effects of the core, the reflector, and the shielding.