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Supporting STEM Education in Northern New Mexico

  • BSMA
  • Coordination of Efforts Between Restart, Experimentation and Modeling for the Transient Test Reactor

Coordination of Efforts Between Restart, Experimentation and Modeling for the Transient Test Reactor

  • 21 Oct 2016
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM (CST)
  • Courtyard by Marriott in Santa Fe

Speaker:  Mark DeHart, Deputy Director for Reactor Physics Modeling and Simulation, Nuclear Science and Technology Directorate at INL

Abstract:  The Transient Reactor Test Facility (TREAT) is an air-cooled, graphite moderated, thermal spectrum test nuclear reactor at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) designed to test reactor fuels and structural materials.

Constructed in 1958, and operated from 1959 until 1994, TREAT was built to conduct transient reactor tests where the test material is subjected to neutron pulses that can simulate conditions ranging from mild transients to reactor accidents. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has decided to resume a program of transient testing, and is investing about $75 million to restart the TREAT facility by 2018. The renewed interest in TREAT was sparked by the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, which prompted the shutdown of Japan's and Germany's nuclear plants. The first transient experiments to be performed at TREAT will be for new accident tolerant fuel designs for nuclear reactors.

The current schedule has initial critical testing beginning in December 2017, with startup physics experiments commencing in January 2018. These tests will include both low-power and high-power steady state and transient runs, with the goal of providing full core data that can be used for computer code validation. The first new experiment vessel design will also undergo in-core testing in early 2018 to ensure it meets performance requirements. Physics testing is expected to run through May of that year.

INL is also involved in the development of multi-physics three-dimensional transient modeling capabilities, using the MAMMOTH multi-physics reactor analysis application. MAMMOTH simulation capabilities are currently being evaluated based on historical experiments completed 20-50 years ago. MAMMOTH is also being used to assist in the design of the experiment vessel mentioned earlier.

Operations, experiment design, and modeling and simulation efforts will thus converge in early 2017—less than 18 months away (yikes!). This talk will give an overview of the various activities and discuss how they will complement each other in returning TREAT to a new era of transient testing.

6 p.m. -  social hour w/ cash bar
7 p.m. -  dinner
7:45 p.m. -  speakers' talks will begin

Register for the dinner by Oct. 17. You can register at http://local.ans.org/trinity/calendar.html for the dinner via PayPal or credit card and selecting the appropriate payment button. When registering online, enter your name, affiliation (ANS, HPS, etc.) and any dietary restrictions you may have in the special instructions/comment field before you finalize payment. The cost for this meeting is $35 per person paid in advance, $40 per person at the door, and $15 for students and children.

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The Bradbury Science Museum Association supports and inspires learners of all ages in Northern New Mexico and beyond through STEM Education.

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