Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

NRE 8011/8012 and MP 6011/6012 Seminar

Nuclear & Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics Programs


Pyroprocessing: a Practical Solution to Spent Fuel Management


Dr. Yoon II Chang


Argonne Distinguished Fellow, Argonne National Laboratory


Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 11:00:00 AM


Boggs Building, Room 3-47


Weston Stacey


Pyroprocessing was first utilized in the Experimental Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II) Fuel Cycle Facility during 1964-69, but the technology was further improved during the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR) Program carried out at Argonne national Laboratory during the 1980s and 90s. Pyroprocessing allows recovery of actinides in a single product stream. If actinides are then burned in a fast reactor, the effective lifetime of nuclear waste will be reduced from hundreds of thousands of years to about 300 years, making the geologic repository siting and design an easy task. The presentation will cover technical rationale for the IFR, a conceptual design of a pilot-scale (100 T/yr) pyroprocessing facility, and physics of actinide transmutation.


Dr. Chang joined Argonne National Laboratory in 1974 and has been responsible for leadership of advanced reactor design and fuel cycle technology development activities in position of increasing responsibility including: General Manager of the Integral Fast Reactor Program, Associate Laboratory Director for Engineering Research, and Interim Laboratory Director. He retired in 2008, spent two months a year at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology as an invited visiting professor, and served as Chair of IAEA Technical Working Group on Nuclear Fuel Cycle Options and Spent Fuel Management. In 2013, he returned to a full-time status at Argonne to direct two projects that he helped to establish – a joint collaboration with Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute for a prototype sodium-cooled fast reactor and a project to develop a conceptual design of a pilot-scale (100 T/yr) pyroprocessing facility. In recognition of his technical analyses, decisions and leadership of all aspects of the IFR program, he was awarded the U.S. Department of Energy’s E.O. Lawrence Award. Other awards and honors include Walker Cisler Medal of American Nuclear Society and outstanding alumni awards from his alma maters. He is a Fellow of American Nuclear Society. He received B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Seoul National University, M.E. in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University, Ph.D. in Nuclear Science from University of Michigan, and M.B.A. from University of Chicago.


Meet the speaker