Argonne has a long history of performing cutting edge R&D in the areas of Light Water Reactor (LWR) safety, as well as advanced reactor development. In the area of LWR safety, Argonne is currently launching a multi-year test program to investigate knowledge gaps in severe accident progression identified in the wake of the reactor accidents at Fukushima Daiichi; in particular, core debris spreading in containment following failure of the reactor vessel, and coolability by external flooding of high metal content, BWR-type core melt compositions. The overall goals, objectives, and testing conducted to date in this internationally-sponsored program will be summarized.
Argonne has also been an international leader in the development of advanced reactor concepts, principally in the area of sodium fast reactors. DOE is currently developing plans to build a Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) to support industry and universities in R&D for various fast reactor concepts. This presentation will also provide a summary of the VTR concept and planned experiment capabilities, as well as a review of ongoing work to develop advanced in-pile irradiation capabilities for the VTR. In addition, laboratory work at Argonne that supports advanced reactor development in the thermal-hydraulics area will also be summarized.
Dr. Mitchell Farmer is currently a Senior Nuclear Engineer and Manager for Light Water Reactor programs in the Nuclear Science and Engineering Division at Argonne National Laboratory. He has over thirty years of experience in various R&D areas related to reactor development, design, and operational safety. An early career focus area related to light water reactor (LWR) safety, including analysis and experiments. Mitch was also heavily involved in addressing technical issues that arose in the wake of the reactor accidents at Fukushima Daiichi. More recently, he has been involved in the analysis, design, and conduct of experiments related to operations and safety of advanced reactor concepts including sodium fast reactors and high-temperature gas cooled reactors. He has over 200 publications in the above mentioned technical areas. Mitch also served as the Technical Area Lead for the Reactor Safety Technologies Pathway (RST) within the Light Water Reactor Sustainability (LWRS) Program at DOE. He received his Bachelors degree in Nuclear Engineering from Purdue University in 1983, his Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nebraska in 1985, and his PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1988.