NRE 8011/8012 Seminar


Criticality Safety in an Operating Facility: Zoomed In and Zoomed Out


Ms. Amanda Szasz


Department of Energy


Thursday, April 11, 2024 at 11:00:00 AM   


Boggs Building, Room 3-47


Fan Zhang


Criticality safety work at an operating Department of Energy (DOE) facility involves requirements and responsibilities related to groups within and outside the facility in addition to understanding of fundamentals of nuclear science and nuclear engineering practice. Understanding of the facility’s place within the greater site and within the DOE contributes to high-quality criticality safety work, and detailed understanding of the facility’s design and operation is essential to it. The Savannah River Site L Area Facility houses the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Spent Fuel Project (SFP). The facility handles and stores nuclear material from all over the world as well as from within the United States. The L Area Facility was previously a production reactor. The SFP uses the existing underwater fuel storage basin along with limited on-grade locations to store material, primarily foreign and domestic research reactor fuel assemblies. Criticality safety work at the facility is governed by commitments to DOE orders and other industry standards. Savannah River Nuclear Solutions maintains a Criticality Safety Program which maintains expectations for training and work standards for criticality safety engineers at the Savannah River Site. Daily criticality safety work at SFP includes analysis of handling and storage of nuclear material within the L Area facility. In addition, facility criticality safety engineers maintain familiarity with the facility and support Operations and Maintenance groups as Criticality Safety Officers. Criticality safety engineers also provide input and document review to the facility Engineering and Nuclear Safety groups. Examples of recent changes to facility processes demonstrate the scope of daily facility criticality safety engineering work from design to implementation stages.


Amanda Szasz is a Senior Criticality Safety Engineer at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions and a graduate of Georgia Tech. She worked on the MOX project as well as SFP at the Savannah River site. Amanda is an active member of the Savannah River local section of the American Nuclear Society and has held a variety of leadership positions within the section.


Meet the speaker