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NPRE 596 Graduate Seminar Series - Thomas Downar

Event Type
NPRE 596 Graduate Seminar Series
3039 Campus Instructional Facility, 1405 W. Springfield Avenue, Urbana, IL
Apr 9, 2024   4:00 - 4:50 pm  
Dr. Thomas Downar, Professor, Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan
Free and Open to the Public
Originating Calendar
NPRE seminars

Transient Safety Analysis of the High Temperature Gas Reactor

Abstract: The High Temperature Reactor (HTR) is one of the more promising advanced small modular reactors being designed and developed for a variety of industrial applications. Computational methods for the design and safety analysis of the HTR are not nearly as mature as those available for Light Water Reactors. In 2009, the US NRC began development of the reactor safety analysis code AGREE (Advanced Gas Reactor Evaluation Engine) at the University of Michigan (UM) in support of anticipated licensing review of the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) which was a prismatic fuel block HTR. Since then, the AGREE code has been extended to the prismatic type HTR and derivatives of the code have been developed at UM in support of two of the current HTR designs, the XE-100 by X-Energy LLC and the FHR by Kairos LLC, which are currently Level 1 and Level 2 US DOE ARDP projects, respectively. AGREE is also being use at UM as part of a DOE Level 3 ARDP project being led by MIT to design an innovative horizontal prismatic HTR.    The seminar will provide an overview of the AGREE code and discuss each of the applications with focus on some of the most challenging aspects of HTR safety analysis.

Bio: For the last 40 years as a Professor at Purdue, UC Berkeley, and now the University of Michigan, Tom Downar's research has been in the area of nuclear reactor physics and reactor multi-physics simulation.  Over the years his group has focused on the development of computational methods and computer codes for solving the time-dependent coupled neutronic/thermal-fluids field equations for reactor safety analysis. The principal sponsors for his research have been the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  The computer code PARCS (Purdue Advanced Reactor Core Simulator), originally developed by Tom and his research group at Purdue, is currently used by the U.S. NRC and several international regulators to certify the safety performance of several hundred operational reactors around the world.    At UM Tom’s group also led the development of the next generation reactor neutronics analysis code, MPACT (Michigan PArallel Characteristics Transport), as part of the DOE’s Nuclear Reactor Simulation Hub (CASL).   The focus of this seminar will be on the third code developed by Professor Downar and his group, AGREE.

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