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Activities in 2015

2015 NE Summer Intern Seminar Series

These seminars provide a taste of some of the Division's important work to address global problems such as proliferation of nuclear materials, used fuel disposition (called "waste" in current public discourse) and developing a sustainable energy system. Students from other divisions are invited to attend.
Target Audience: Summer Students in NE or other Argonne Divisions.

DOWNLOAD: 2015 NE Summer Intern Seminar Series [488.69 KB, last mod.: August 12 2016, 14:38]

  • Welcome to NE and Intern Orientation
    Tom Ewing, Associate Director, Nuclear Engineering Division
    May 28, 2015, 2:00pm, location: Bldg. 203 Room D120

    Seminar Abstract:

    Thomas F. Ewing, Associate Director of the NE Division, will welcome NE summer interns and provide a short overview of activities in the NE Division. Afterwards, the Outreach Committee will discuss planned intern activities and introduce pertinent Division employees.

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  • Bei Ye

    Early Career Seminar: Advanced Fuel Development for Research Reactors
    Bei Ye, Materials Scientist, Fuel Development & Qualification Section
    June 2, 2015, 10:00am, location: Bldg. 203, Room D120

    Seminar Abstract:

    Fuel development has been a cornerstone of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) Reactor Conversion program, previously known as the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactor (RERTR) program, since the RERTR inception in 1978. Low enriched uranium (LEU) fuels with higher uranium densities are needed to replace highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuels in the conversion of a research reactor. Several LEU fuels have been qualified since the start of the RERTR/GTRI program. Argonne was instrumental in the qualification of silicide fuel in1988, and more than 35 reactors have been converted from HEU to LEU by using silicide fuel. Silicide fuels have been fabricated and used with a uranium density up to 4.8 g/cc. However, in order to convert the remaining high-flux, high-performance research reactors, development of fuels with higher uranium density is required (~8 g/cm3 for dispersion, or ~15 g/ cm3 for monolithic foil fuels). Argonne leads the major effort focused on developing aluminum-based U-Mo dispersion fuel for the European High Flux Reactors (EUHFRs).  Furthermore, Argonne contributes to the development of the monolithic U-Mo fuel for the conversion of US High Performance Research Reactors (USHPRRs). This talk will describe key issues encountered during U-Mo fuel development: the reaction of U-Mo alloy with aluminum and the irradiation behavior of the fuel alloy and reaction products. Details will be provided for the current activities to meet these challenges, which include fuel behavior modeling and ion irradiation experiments.

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  • S. Lomperski

    CFD Code Validation in a World of Flawed Experimentalists
    Steve Lomperski, Principal Nuclear Engineer, Engineering Development Labs
    June 9, 2015, 10:00am, location: Bldg. 205 Y-Wing Auditorium

    Seminar Abstract:

    Our research group conducts fluid mechanics experiments that generate data to validate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes. Analysts use this data to check their simulations against the real world, i.e., nature. But is our data reliable? Much of it comes from exotic instruments lacking calibration certificates traceable to recognized standards. This should be unsettling since analysts' efforts are sometimes squandered on validation exercises compromised by poor experimental data. What can we do?

    This talk begins with examples of measurement error in particle image velocimetry, which is widely used in experiments supporting CFD validation. Basic principles of the technique are explained along with issues that are not easily recognized by analysts, the end users of validation data. We then present recent data from the MAX fluid dynamics facility to make the case for an ideal validation experiment: challenging and interesting for analysts with findings that are resistant to the errors of fickle experimentalists.

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    See also: MAX Fluid Dynamics Facility - NE website
  • T.K. Kim

    Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor – Past and Future
    Taek K. Kim, Principal Nuclear Engineer and Department Manager, Nuclear Systems Analysis
    June 16, 2015, 10:00am, location: Bldg. 205 Y-Wing Auditorium

    Seminar Abstract:

    Since the first electricity from nuclear energy was obtained at Experimental Breeder Reactor I (EBR-I) on December 20, 1951, we have dreamed of a sustainable nuclear fuel cycle for the ideal use of nuclear energy resources and the Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) technology has been at the center of that dream. The United States has designed, built, and operated fast reactors (mostly SFRs) from EBR-I up until the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF) and Experimental  Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II) were permanently shut down and the IFR program was canceled in 1994. Worldwide, SFR technologies have logged more than 400 operating-years, and many countries (China, India, Russia, Japan, France, Korea, and even the U.S.) have very active plans for SFR deployment in the near future. In this seminar, the history of SFR development will be discussed, including the critical turning points of nuclear system development in the United States and the reasoning behind the recent refocus on SFR technology.

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  • Bo Feng

    Early Career Seminar: Analysis of Transition to Advanced Nuclear Fuel Cycles
    Bo Feng, Nuclear Engineer, Reactor & Fuel Cycle Analysis Section
    June 23, 2015, 10:00am, location: Bldg. 205 Y-Wing Auditorium

    Seminar Abstract:

    Advanced nuclear fuel cycles with recycling technologies are able to significantly reduce uranium consumption and waste disposal requirements by continuously recycling all heavy metals in fast spectrum reactors. So how can we transition from our current once-through cycle with LWRs to a reactor fleet and infrastructure based on these advanced recycling technologies? When can these benefits be realized? How much would it cost? How long would it take? What are the time-dependent system behaviors and challenges associated with different transition pathways?

    These are the kinds of questions that we hope to address by modeling these transition scenarios using system dynamics tools and by analyzing the predicted mass flows, facility throughputs, construction rates, inventories, and infrastructure requirements. In this seminar, a brief introduction to the system dynamics concept and established fuel cycle systems codes will be provided along with preliminary findings from recent transition analyses conducted for the Fuel Cycle Options Campaign within DOE-NE's Fuel Cycle Technologies Program.

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  • Mark Nutt

    Used Nuclear Fuel Management in the U.S.
    Mark Nutt, Principal Nuclear Engineer and Manager, Spent Nuclear Fuel Management Section
    June 29, 2015, 1:30pm, location: Bldg. 205 Y-Wing Auditorium
    NOTE NOTE: Seminar date and time change

    Seminar Abstract:

    The seminar will provide a brief history of nuclear waste management in the U.S. since the inception of nuclear power through the present.  The impacts of the decision to no longer pursue development of the Yucca Mountain geologic repository will be discussed.  The recommendations made by the Blue Ribbon Commission for Americas Nuclear Future will be summarized and the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) strategy for managing used nuclear fuel going forward will be presented.  On-going activities in the DOE's Used Fuel Disposition Research and Development Campaign and Nuclear Fuel Storage and Transportation Planning Project will be described.

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    See also: Waste Management Systems Analysis - NE website

  • D. Grabaskas

    Early Career Seminar: Risky Business
    Dave Grabaskas, Nuclear Engineer, Safety Analysis Section
    July 7, 2015, 10:00am, location: Bldg. 203, Room D120

    Seminar Abstract:

    Industrial and process safety have long been pursued through the use of traditional engineering techniques, such as safety factors, single failure criterion, and conservative/bounding assumptions. However, more and more industries are turning to risk management, which assesses the likelihood and consequences of failures, as an approach to preventing accidents and mitigating their effects. While the nuclear industry was one of the first to utilize formal risk assessments, it is now commonplace to find risk management in fields ranging from aviation to biomedicals. This presentation will review some of the basic concepts of risk management, and provide an overview of the risk-related tasks being conducted at Argonne for the nuclear power and offshore oil and gas sectors.

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  • M. Kaminski

    Wide Area Decontamination Methods
    Mike Kaminski, Principal Materials Engineer and Manager, Nuclear Decontamination and Separations Section
    July 14, 2015, 10:00am, location: Bldg. 203, Room D120

    Seminar Abstract:

    Nuclear terrorism presents a considerable challenge to decontamination approaches.  We have been studying current decontamination practices with a critical eye on applicability in the event of a terrorist attack. A summary of methods will be presented. 

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  • A. Youker

    Early Career Seminar: Reducing US Dependence on Foreign Mo-99: A Domestic Solution
    Amanda Youker, Chemist, Radiochemistry Section
    July 23, 2015, 10:00am, location: Bldg. 203, Room D120
    NOTE NOTE: Seminar date changed to Thursday

    Seminar Abstract:

    As part of the Material Management and Minimization (MMM) Mo-99 Technology Development program, Argonne is helping to accelerate the domestic production of Mo-99.  Molybdenum-99’s daughter decay product, technecium-99m, is often referred to as the workhorse of nuclear medicine, and is used in roughly 80% of all diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures worldwide.  The establishment of a reliable domestic supply of Mo-99 is critical because the main Mo-99 producer in Canada will no longer produce medical isotopes after 2016.  With a loss of about 40% of the Mo-99 supply after 2016, a shortage is imminent unless a new Mo-99 producer fills the void.  Currently, SHINE Medical Technologies and NorthStar Medical Technologies are the top potential US producers. 

    Today’s presentation will focus on the work being done at Argonne to support SHINE Medical Technologies in their efforts to produce fission-product Mo-99 via an accelerator-driven process.  Argonne’s mini-SHINE experiments will produce 2 Ci (phase 1) and 20 Ci (phase 2) of Mo-99 for shipment to SHINE’s potential Tc-99m generator manufacturer partners.  Mo-99 will be produced using a low-enriched uranium (LEU) uranyl-sulfate solution, an electron linac, and a tantalum target (phase 1) or depleted-uranium target (phase 2).  These experiments will continuously monitor pH, conductivity, and turbidity during irradiation as well as radiolytic-gas generation rates.  Additionally, these and other complementary experiments will provide data about precipitate formation, fission product speciation, and redox chemistry that will help SHINE make important decisions regarding solution clean-up, waste optimization, and cooling time before Mo-99 separation and purification.

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  • Florent Heidet

    Fast Reactor Physics
    Florent Heidet, Nuclear Engineer, Nuclear Systems Analysis Department
    July 28, 2015, 11:00am, location: Bldg. 203, Room D120
    NOTE NOTE: Seminar time change. Seminar will be followed by a Student Farewell Lunch.

    Seminar Abstract:

    How fast reactor physics differs from thermal reactor physics, and how the fast spectrum allows pursuit of various strategic objectives, e.g., resource extension, actinide burnup in lieu of disposal, weapons material disposition.

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DOWNLOAD: 2015 NE Summer Intern Seminar Series [488.69 KB, last mod.: August 12 2016, 14:38]

Other Activities

Information about current and or upcoming activities can be found in the NE Student Outreach home page.

Contact the Student Outreach Committee

If you would like to contact the NE Student Outreach Committee for further information or to request a student activity, please email .