Optimizing Performance, Safety, and Proliferation Resistance of Research and Test Reactors

Event Date: February 26, 2020
Speaker: John Stevens
Senior Nuclear Engineer
Speaker Affiliation: Argonne National Laboratory
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: PHYS 112
Priority: No
School or Program: Nuclear Engineering
College Calendar: Hide

Abstract

The control of weapons-usable fissile material is fundamental to global efforts to avoid proliferation of nuclear weapons, whether by state or non-state actors.  Since 1978, the U.S. Reactor Conversion Program has pursued the minimization, and to the extent possible the elimination, of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) material from civilian use.  The program has accomplished conversion of 71 research reactors, including the PUR-1, from the use of HEU to Low Enriched Uranium (LEU).  Those conversions have completed the scope of HEU minimization in 33 countries, but research reactors continue to use HEU in the US and 15 other countries.

The NNSA Reactor Conversion Program remains dedicated to development and deployment of the high density fuels that enable conversion while preserving experimental capabilities.  Argonne continues their leadership role in conversion, together with 9 other national laboratories and international partners.  During FY20, the scope of active M3 conversion projects led by Argonne’s Research and Test Reactors Department has included reactors in 11 countries (US, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, China, and Japan.  IAEA engagement augments direct interaction for projects in Iran, Syria, and Pakistan.) 

Dr. Stevens’ seminar will review the technological advancements in fuel, design and safety analysis modeling capabilities, and multi-national collaborations that have allowed the successes to date and that are being extended to remaining scope.  The new PRO-Core initiative to assure that future research and test reactors deploy LEU in a manner that maximizes proliferation resistance will also be introduced.

 

Bio

Dr. John G. Stevens is a Senior Nuclear Engineer and leads the Reactor Material Management Programs in the Nuclear Science and Engineering Division. He is a reactor physicist with over 30 years of engineering experience. Dr. Stevens currently has the role of International Reactor Conversion Technical Lead within the NNSA Material Management & Minimization (M3) Reactor Conversion Program.  During FY20, the scope of active M3 conversion projects led by Argonne’s Research and Test Reactors Department has included reactors in 11 countries (US, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, China, and Japan.  IAEA engagement augments direct interaction for projects in Iran, Syria, and Pakistan.)  John also provides programmatic oversight of Mo-99 conversion and non-HEU domestic production development activities at Argonne.

One facet of John’s M3 role was service 2013-2018 as technical lead of Arak reactor modification potential, both during the negotiations that led to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, the Iran Deal), and within the P5+1 Arak Working Group implementing the JCPOA Arak reactor matters.

Dr. Stevens is a Purdue Engineer, having completed his Ph.D. as a Department of Energy Fellow in 1995.  He commercialized his nuclear optimization dissertation work to save fuel and millions of dollars for customers in Sweden, the U.S., and Taiwan.  Prior to joining Argonne in 2005, he worked for the leading international nuclear power software firm Studsvik Scandpower, Inc.  As a student, John worked for Westinghouse Nuclear Fuels Division and for the French Center for Nuclear Studies at Cadarache.

Dr. Stevens has been a member of the American Nuclear Society since 1985, active in a variety of roles at the local and national level over the years.  He has been a member of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) since 1995.  He has been the recipient of three U.S. Secretary of Energy Achievement Awards, for his roles in the JCPOA, Ghana MNSR Conversion, and non-HEU Domestic Mo-99 production.

Attachments

2020-02-26 15:30:00 2020-02-26 16:30:00 America/New_York Optimizing Performance, Safety, and Proliferation Resistance of Research and Test Reactors PHYS 112