Our research is focused on the engineering of advanced nuclear power systems with their corresponding fuel cycles, and developing the required reactor physics tools to model them.
The unique characteristics of different advanced reactor systems have led to the conclusion that conventional techniques commonly used to model LWRs may not be applicable. These innovative nuclear systems require new tools that will be capable of accurate modelling. A primary research focus of our lab is to develop tools to model ‘universal’ reactors while improving the reliability and efficiency of current codes. This part of the research deals with generalized method for Monte Carlo (MC) particle transport that could be applied to reactor physics codes. In addition, our research interests include development of numerical methods and algorithms for coupled Monte Carlo, fuel depletion and thermal hydraulic codes. Improving the reliability of existing deterministic methods (e.g. nodal diffusion codes) is also part of ours portfolio.
Part of our research also focuses on prolonging energy resources and minimizing nuclear waste worldwide by designing efficient fuel cycles. In this area, part of the research is dedicated to studying Thorium based fuel cycles. Such fuel cycles can be readily deployed in the current LWR technology. Thorium fuel cycles can be applied to achieve a specific goal, such as better resource utilization or smaller repository sizing. Additional aspect of our research focuses on improving the performance and safety of existing LWR reactor fleet by adopting new fuel/cladding types. We are studying various designs, such as self-sustainable thorium-uranium water reactors, reduced moderation boiling water reactors and fluoride-cooled high-temperature reactors.
The area of additional interest is the application of optimization methods to maximize the performance of various nuclear systems.