Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


What I Did Last Summer


Georgia Tech Students


Georgia Institute of Technology


Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 11:00:00 AM


Boggs Building, Room 3-47


Dr. Nolan Hertel


Come and hear firsthand from 3 students who interned at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the summer. Andrew Bopp, Varija Agarwal, and Lauren Finklea will share their experiences and give insight to working in a national laboratory considered a world leader in advanced materials research and development.

CFD Analysis of the Advanced High Temperature Reactor Andrew spent the summer at ORNL performing a CFD analysis of the AHTR assembly design. Several design problems were identified, and recommendations were made to optimize the thermal performance of the design.

Correction factors for radiological soil contamination assessment Lauren modeled various scenarios of radiological soil contamination and derived coefficients to adapt already published safety factors to the new contamination sites. From these coefficients, a radiological risk assessment tool was updated for more accurate clean up evaluations.

Modeling Coolant Flow Paths in the High Flux Isotope Reactor Pressure Vessel Varija worked on The High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is slated for conversion from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel. Computational models of HFIR are needed to assess the effects of design changes on reactor operation. In this project, preliminary computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models of coolant flow through the HFIR pressure vessel have been developed in COMSOL using simplified CAD representations of the vessel and core.


Andrew Bopp is a PhD student under Dr. Stacey in the Fast Reactor Research Group. His thesis involves performing a full dynamic safety analysis of Georgia Tech fission-fusion hybrid reactor concept SABR.

Lauren Finklea is pursuing her masters in nuclear engineering focusing on radiation protection. She graduated with her bachelors in nuclear and radiological engineering from Georgia Tech and has interned for ORNL for the past year and a half.

Varija Agarwal is a fourth year nuclear engineering undergraduate at Georgia Tech. Her previous work includes modeling radiation damage in reactor materials with Dr. Chaitanya Deo, nuclear waste vitrification research at Idaho National Laboratory, and, most recently, CFD modeling of reactor coolant flow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.