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Study of reactor behavior focus of new grant from Department of Energy

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018


MANHATTAN — Using first-of-a-kind data, a joint effort among Jeremy Roberts, Kansas State University assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Idaho National Laboratory will evaluate how well computer models can predict the behavior of nuclear reactors.

With more than $350,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Consolidated Innovative Nuclear Research Program, the three-year project will build on a previous three-year, $800,000 effort to develop sensors to provide a 3D picture of what goes on inside a nuclear reactor over time. Once completed, the sensors were deployed in the nuclear reactor at the University of Wisconsin for use in a variety of experiments.

"We expect the compiled data and analysis to become part of a database of evaluated, reactor physics benchmark experiments used by multiple investigators and institutions across the world," Roberts said.

Because the resulting information is first of a kind, Roberts said a large part of the team's effort will be to define and implement a way to represent the data that is easy for others to understand and use for their own benchmarking efforts.

The title of the newly funded undertaking is "An evaluated, transient experiment based on simultaneous, 3D neutron flux and temperature measurements."

"With this award and its precursor, K-State is becoming a fundamental player in the emerging area of data generation for validation of high-fidelity reactor-analysis tools," Roberts said.


Jeremy Roberts


Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering


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Jeremy Roberts

Jeremy Roberts, assistant professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering at Kansas State University.

Written by

Mary Rankin