Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


High Temperature Reactors: Past, Present, and Future?


Dr. Hans Gougar


Idaho National Laboratory


Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 11:00:00 AM


Boggs Building, Room 3-47


Dr. Farzad Rahnema


The Very High Temperature Reactor is one of the six nuclear plants concepts that are the subject of international cooperative research and development under the Generation IV program and one of three reactor concepts being developed by the US Department of Energy's Advanced reactor technologies Office . The distinguishing features of the VHTR are a low power density, graphite moderator, helium coolant, and highly robust TRISO coated particle fuel form that together allow this reactor to generate very high coolant temperature for process heat while being completely immune to catastrophic core damage and release of radiologic inventory. The VHTR can supply high quality process heat to drive industrial processes in addition to high-efficiency electricity generation. Dr. Gougar will summarize the past and present progress made toward commercial deployment and take a peak at outstanding modeling and simulation challenges.


Dr. Hans Gougar is a nuclear engineer who has worked at the Idaho National Laboratory since 1998. He specializes in the design and simulation of unconventional nuclear power systems. His recent activities include: Technical Lead on High Temperature Reactor Methods Development, Principal Investigator in the conceptual design of a new high flux materials test reactor for DOEserves, and Director of DOE's Nuclear Energy Knowledge and Validation Center. Dr. Gougar also serves on the Experts Group of the Generation IV International Forum, and is Adjunct Professor of Nuclear Engineering at Idaho State University. Dr. Gougar began his work on High temperature gas-Cooled Reactors in 200 by developing a design and fuel management code for pebble bed high temperature reactors. He took a year off in 2008 from his duties as Deputy Technical Director the VHTR Technology Development Office to work as a consultant for the Pebble Bed Modular Reactor company in South Africa.<\p>

Dr. Gougar earned his Bachelorís Degree in Science Education from the University of Wisconsin in 1985. He taught physics and other science courses at various secondary schools in the U.S. and in England before commencing graduate studies at Penn State in 1994. He earned a PhD in 2004 while working at the INL. Gougar lives in Idaho Falls with his 2 kids and his wife, Mary Lou, who is also a former science teacher and an Assistant Professor of nuclear engineering at Idaho State University.