Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


Current Reactor Physics Projects at ORNL


Mr. Brian Ade


Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM


Boggs Building, Room 3-47


Chris Wang


The Reactor Physics group of the Reactor and Nuclear Systems Division is involved in a wide variety of projects and research areas. In this talk, two projects will be highlighted. The first highlighted project involves research into utilization of thorium in LWRs. A brief historical prospective on use of thorium in nuclear reactors will be given, and then an evaluation of the safety and regulatory issues of utilization of thorium in current LWRs will be summarized. The second highlighted project involves burnup credit for boiling water reactors. The current lack of a used fuel repository and the limited space available in spent fuel pools leads to the need for utilities to utilized casks for dry storage. Increasing enrichment of modern fuel assemblies is leading to difficulties in meeting the current regulatory margins required for dry cask storage. Research enabling burnup credit for BWRs is needed in order to utilize dry cask storage for these modern fuel assemblies. Previous work highlighting research in to peak reactivity methods will be given, along with the plans for full-range burnup credit.


Brian Ade is a technical staff member in the Reactor Physics group of the Reactor and Nuclear Systems Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University. Before joining Oak Ridge National Laboratory, he worked for Los Alamos National Laboratory where he performed R&D for nuclear reactors designed for space propulsion, nuclear data, and gas-cooled nuclear reactors. Since joining Oak Ridge in 2010, Brian has worked on a variety of different topics including lattice physics and depletion for LWRs and GCRs, burnup credit, research supporting conversion of ORNLís HFIR research reactor from HEU to LEU, and national security topics.