SUBJECT: Ph.D. Proposal Presentation
BY: Abdalla Abou Jaoude
TIME: Monday, November 21, 2016, 1:00 p.m.
PLACE: Boggs Building, 3-47
TITLE: Designing Proliferation Resistant Long-Lived Fast Reactors: Reducing Bred Plutonium Quantity and Quality
COMMITTEE: Dr. Anna Erickson, Chair (NRE)
Dr. Nolan Herten (NRE)
Dr. Bojan Petrovic (NRE)
Adam Stulberg (INTA)
Nicolas Stauff (Argonne)


Long-lived battery-type nuclear reactors are advocated as a promising solution for developing nations. They can be manufactured in centralized locations, sealed, then transported to areas in need. At the end of their lifetime, they are returned to the central hub. This removes the justification for any state to develop sensitive front or back-end technology. However, critics argue the reactors still pose a proliferation risk due to the high quantity of very pure plutonium they breed.

The proposed research aims to address these concerns by combining two novel concepts: (1) mixed Th-U fuels to reduce the amount of plutonium produced, and (2) employing a mixed spectrum in the reactor to reduce the quality of the plutonium. The base design considered is the AFR-100, an Argonne National Laboratory concept. The study will involve a design optimization step to balance out proliferation risks with required performance characteristics for long-lived reactors. It will then move to a safety evaluation to ensure the feasibility of the proposed concept.