Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


Nuclear Fuel Design Considerations


Dr. Douglas Crawford


Chief Scientist, Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC) Idaho National Laboratory


Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 11:00:00 AM


Boggs Building, Room 3-47


Farzad Rahnema


Like any safety-related component in a nuclear reactor, the reactor fuel is designed to fulfill specific functions and requirements. Beyond those fundamental requirements, economic operation of the reactor drives other design requirements to goals for fuel reliability, power generation, and plant maneuverability. A survey of important fuel design characteristics for sodium-cooled fast reactors and boiling water reactor, two very different reactor types, illustrates how the reactor-specific fuel operating requirements lead to very different fuel designs that are still able to perform the same underlying functions. The difference in technical maturity of the two reactor types also leads to somewhat different emphases in design objectives today, with emphasis for boiling water reactor fuel on reliability and economic plant operation while design objectives for sodium-cooled fast reactors still emphasize capabilities for different reactor missions.


Doug Crawford rejoined Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in July 2017, as chief scientist for the Materials & Fuels Complex. In this role, he is responsible for implementing strategies to modernize the MFC research capabilities to impact the deployment of advanced nuclear energy technology, foster collaborations with nuclear universities and laboratories, and facilitate delivery of outcomes for industrial partnerships to meet fuels and materials research and development needs. From 1990 to 2007 Crawford had worked at Argonne National Laboratory-West and the INL. In 2007 he joined GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy in Wilmington, NC, where led engineering teams supporting boiling water reactor customers with fuel technology, reactor systems and components engineering, and reactor plant mechanical analysis. From 2016 to prior to rejoining INL, Crawford worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, as reactor technology leader and GAIN deputy director. Crawford’s subject matter expertise includes fast reactor and boiling water reactor fuel performance and design, fuel safety testing and licensing, fuel specification, technical leadership and issue resolution, and nuclear materials storage technology. Education: B.S. Metallurgical Engineering, University of Idaho M.S. Nuclear Engineering, University of Washington Ph.D. Nuclear Engineering, University of Michigan MBA, University of Chicago


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