Research Highlights

Research Highlights

ORNL and international collaborators deliver world-leading spent nuclear fuel database

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) provided significant contributions and coordination in the development of the Nuclear Energy Agency’s (NEA’s) recently released Spent Fuel Isotopic Composition (SFCOMPO) 2.0—the world’s largest open database for spent nuclear fuel assay data. SFCOMPO 2...

ORNL recognized by the IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) named Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory as an International Centre based on Research Reactors. The recognition encourages designees to collaborate in ways that maximize the use of research reactors in all IAEA member...

Graduate student tour sparks interest in UT and ORNL

Dozens of prospective nuclear engineering graduate students visited the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in late February as part of an annual recruitment trip highlighting the lab’s unique facilities and research capabilities. The daylong tour took...

Advanced Reactor Licensing

George Flanagan, Randy Belles, Mike Muhlheim, and Mike Poore with other team members from Idaho National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory, developed initial drafts of advanced reactor design criteria (i.e., non-light water reactors) that were featured heavily in the recently...
Benjamin Betzler

ORNL team developing key molten salt reactor simulation tools

More than 50 years after the development of molten salt reactors (MSRs), the nuclear community has renewed interest in the technology because of its potential to provide the next generation of nuclear power production. Now, the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National...

Research aims to develop molten salt reactor core simulator

The history of the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is distinctly intertwined with work on molten salt reactors (MSRs), but promising research at ORNL is now directly focused on the future of MSRs—with a nod to the past. A team of researchers at ORNL...

ORNL team to model ITER shielding design as part of INCITE award

A team from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has received a computational research award to model the radiation environment of ITER, the world’s largest fusion reactor, and provide an accurate prediction of whether the shielding design will...

Nuclear reactor workshop spotlights collaboration, progress

Renewed interest in molten salt technology was evident at a recent gathering of advanced nuclear reactor experts at the US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  Nearly 200 attendees from national labs, industry, utilities, reactor design firms, and...

Comprehensive Documentation of HFIR High-Fidelity Depletion Models and Analyses

HFIR Model (hi-res image) Thermal Flux Distribution  (hi-res image) Examining a full-size replica of the HFIR core and target rods.  (hi-res image)                                                   •A team comprised of staff from...

A new software capability has been developed for automating report generation on the US spent nuclear fuel cask inventory

•This capability is integrated with the UNF-ST&DARDS Unified Database (UDB) allowing continuous table, report, and graphics updating as the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) cask inventory changes
–Users can generate reports in different formats (e.g., PDF, html)
•UDB provides a...

A FLiNaK mixture of salt was circulated for the first time in the Liquid Salt Test Loop (LSTL)

 (hi-res image) •This work is part of the ORNL-Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) Fluoride Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Reactor CRADA •Task focused on developing design guidance for future salt pumps and used the existing salt loop pump as a case study •Final...

ORNL conducted a one-week Generalist Course for radioactive material package shielding evaluation and nuclear criticality safety evaluations

•At the request of the National Nuclear Security Administration, Generalist and Analyst Courses were created for preparing DOE federal and contractor radiation shielding and criticality safety reviewers and practitioners involved in packaging and transportation activities to develop and...

ORNL staff completed evaluation of incorporating standardized canisters into integrated waste management system

Standardization is a potential option for better integration between storage, transportation, and eventual disposal BRC, NEAC, NWTRB support effort Third evaluation on topic over the last three fiscal years Analyzed an additional 10 scenarios related to implementation alternatives for...

StarCCM+ CFD model used to support low flow qualification of the HFIR HB-1 beam tube

•The cooling flow rate for the HFIR HB-1 beam tube has been slowly degrading over time
•The HB-1 beam flow has now crossed the previously established low-flow alarm limit of 15 gallon/min
•This required a new HB-1 flow safety calculation to support resetting the alarm to a new...

Analyses of key problems strengthen confidence in ORNL's new Shift Monte Carlo code

•A global background radiation source and cesium threat source were simulated in the Fort Indiantown Gap training facility model
•Excellent agreement was found between Shift and MAVRIC and various detector locations throughout the model
•This validation builds confidence in...

Uncertainty Quantification in (α,n) Neutron Source Calculations in an Oxide Matrix

Background and Motivation Nuclear data describing α-particle interactions on light nuclei are essential for calculating (α,n) neutron emissions Currently, in codes like SOURCES4C, there is no uncertainty data to estimate neutron source intensities or emission spectra​​...

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