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University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Nuclear Engineering

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Full-Text Articles in Mechanical Engineering

Detector Arrays For Nuclear Security And Safeguards Applications, Jessica Hartman May 2018

Detector Arrays For Nuclear Security And Safeguards Applications, Jessica Hartman

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Over the last two decades it has become increasingly apparent that there is a need for new technologies capable of reliable and efficient fast neutron detection. As national and international stockpiles of 3He continue to dwindle, the need to find a new gold standard of neutron detection becomes more critical. Moreover, neutrons are generated typically in the MeV energy range. The use of 3He detectors for fast neutron measurements requires the use of moderators. Detector arrays capable of fast neutron detection are one solution to this problem. To this end, the focus of this work was the study of detector ...


Fast Neutron Detection In Nuclear Material Photofission Assay Using A 15 Mev Linear Electron Accelerator, Matthew Steven Hodges May 2017

Fast Neutron Detection In Nuclear Material Photofission Assay Using A 15 Mev Linear Electron Accelerator, Matthew Steven Hodges

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

The purpose of this research was to use a 15 MeV (K15 model by Varian) linear electron accelerator (linac) for the photon assay of special nuclear materials (SNM). First, the properties of the photon radiation probe were determined. The stochastic radiation transport code, MCNP5, was used to develop computational models for the linac. The spectral distribution of photons as well as dose rate contour maps of the UNLV accelerator facility were computed for several linac operating configurations. These computational models were validated through comparison with experimental measurements of dose rates.

The linac model was used to simulate the photon interrogation ...


Neutron-Gamma Discrimination In Elpasolite Scintillator Detector, Brittany Morgan May 2016

Neutron-Gamma Discrimination In Elpasolite Scintillator Detector, Brittany Morgan

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Existing nuclear stockpiles and weapons-making capabilities imperil the global community. Current nonproliferation efforts involve the research and development of newer, more efficient detection systems that can be deployed for the interdiction and monitoring of special nuclear materials (SNM). Spontaneous and induced fission events in SNM produce neutrons and gamma rays, which can be detected and analyzed, in particular, using scintillator detectors. Various electronic data acquisition systems and data analysis methods have been employed to record and characterize neutron and photon signatures. The goal of this thesis is to develop a new method of discrimination between neutrons and photons in the ...


Remote Sensing Of Neutron And Gamma Radiation Using Aerial Unmanned Autonomous System, Alex Barzilov, Jessica Hartman, Ivan Novikov Jan 2016

Remote Sensing Of Neutron And Gamma Radiation Using Aerial Unmanned Autonomous System, Alex Barzilov, Jessica Hartman, Ivan Novikov

Graduate & Professional Student Association Research Forum

With the continuing advancement of nuclear technologies, the detection and identification of radioactive material is a necessary part of commercial and government applications. There is a wide array of options available for detection and identification of material, but most rely on compact devices which are manually positioned. The deployment of robots equipped with detection equipment is not always feasible, especially in locations where there is considerable debris on the ground, or where there are low clearance areas. To solve this, the goal of this research was to design a remote sensing system for radiation using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). A ...


Neutron Spectroscopy With Scintillation Detectors Using Wavelets, Jessica Hartman Aug 2014

Neutron Spectroscopy With Scintillation Detectors Using Wavelets, Jessica Hartman

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

The purpose of this research was to study neutron spectroscopy using the EJ-299-33A plastic scintillator. This scintillator material provided a novel means of detection for fast neutrons, without the disadvantages of traditional liquid scintillation materials. EJ-299-33A provided a more durable option to these materials, making it less likely to be damaged during handling. Unlike liquid scintillators, this plastic scintillator was manufactured from a non-toxic material, making it safer to use, as well as easier to design detectors. The material was also manufactured with inherent pulse shape discrimination abilities, making it suitable for use in neutron detection.

The neutron spectral unfolding ...


Quantification Of Stochastic Uncertainty Propagation For Monte Carlo Depletion Methods In Reactor Analysis, Quentin Thomas Newell Dec 2011

Quantification Of Stochastic Uncertainty Propagation For Monte Carlo Depletion Methods In Reactor Analysis, Quentin Thomas Newell

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

The Monte Carlo method provides powerful geometric modeling capabilities for large problem domains in 3-D; therefore, the Monte Carlo method is becoming popular for 3-D fuel depletion analyses to compute quantities of interest in spent nuclear fuel including isotopic compositions. The Monte Carlo approach has not been fully embraced due to unresolved issues concerning the effect of Monte Carlo uncertainties on the predicted results.

Use of the Monte Carlo method to solve the neutron transport equation introduces stochastic uncertainty in the computed fluxes. These fluxes are used to collapse cross sections, estimate power distributions, and deplete the fuel within depletion ...


Computational Study Of Passive Neutron Albedo Reactivity (Pnar) Measurement With Fission Chambers, Sandra De La Cruz May 2011

Computational Study Of Passive Neutron Albedo Reactivity (Pnar) Measurement With Fission Chambers, Sandra De La Cruz

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

The Passive Neutron Albedo Reactivity technique (PNAR) was used to assay used nuclear fuel as a potential method for the measurement of fissionable material in fuel assemblies. A Monte Carlo transport code (MCNPX 2.6) was used to develop simulation models to evaluate the PNAR technique. The MCNPX simulated models consisted of two 17x17 Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) used fuel assemblies; one with an initial 3 wt% uranium-235*, cooled for 20 years and second with an initial 4 wt% uranium-235*, cooled for 5 years. Each used fuel assembly was simulated at four different burn up rates of 15, 30, 45 ...


Impact Investigation Of Reactor Fuel Operating Parameters On Reactivity For Use In Burnup Credit Applications, Tanya N. Sloma Nov 2010

Impact Investigation Of Reactor Fuel Operating Parameters On Reactivity For Use In Burnup Credit Applications, Tanya N. Sloma

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

When representing the behavior of commercial spent nuclear fuel (SNF), credit is sought for the reduced reactivity associated with the net depletion of fissile isotopes and the creation of neutron-absorbing isotopes, a process that begins when a commercial nuclear reactor is first operated at power. Burnup credit accounts for the reduced reactivity potential of a fuel assembly and varies with the fuel burnup, cooling time, and the initial enrichment of fissile material in the fuel. With regard to long-term SNF disposal and transportation, tremendous benefits, such as increased capacity, flexibility of design and system operations, and reduced overall costs, provide ...


Oxidation Modeling By Means Of Molecular Dynamics, Chaiyod Soontrapa Jan 2009

Oxidation Modeling By Means Of Molecular Dynamics, Chaiyod Soontrapa

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

Oxidation modeling is normally engineered to study systems at macroscopic scales, mostly in analytical forms based on diffusion theories. The associated time scale is usually in months, days, or minutes, and the length scale is in the order of microns. In this dissertation, oxidation modeling is performed at atomistic scale with the time and length scales in picoseconds and angstroms, respectively, using molecular dynamics. Molecular dynamics simulations generate trajectories of each atom or particle in a system according to the laws of physics. Studying oxidations under the atomistic point of view can offer new insights on atomic behaviors and influencing ...


Criticality Studies Of Actinides Within Fissures, Trevor Wilcox Jan 2009

Criticality Studies Of Actinides Within Fissures, Trevor Wilcox

UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones

The storage of nuclear waste in underground storage facilities presents numerous engineering challenges and risks. Experimental verification of engineered underground storage is impractical or prohibitively expensive, leaving scientists with few options. A 1995 report by Bowman and Venneri of the Los Alamos National Laboratory generated considerable controversy by hypothesizing that wastes composed of fissionable plutonium leached from underground storage containers could pose a nuclear criticality hazard. They proposed cases where plutonium collected in underground fractures could lead to sustained nuclear fission. In overmoderated cases, they argued that the resulting release of energy from fission could result in steam explosions, or ...


High Temperature Heat Exchanger Annual Report, Anthony Hechanova Sep 2008

High Temperature Heat Exchanger Annual Report, Anthony Hechanova

Publications (NSTD)

Objectives

• Identify candidate materials for heat exchanger components.

• Test candidate materials for heat exchanger components.

• Design critical components in the interface between the reactor and hydrogen production plant and within the sulfur iodine thermochemical process.

• Fabricate prototypical components.

• Test prototypical components.


Knowledge-Based Information Resource Management System For Materials Of Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor, Sean Hsieh Jan 2008

Knowledge-Based Information Resource Management System For Materials Of Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor, Sean Hsieh

Reactor Campaign (TRP)

In the development of advanced fast reactors, materials and coolant/material interactions pose a critical barrier for higher temperature and longer core life designs. For advanced burner reactors (sodium cooled) such as EBR-II and FFTF, experience has shown that the qualified structural materials and fuel cladding severely limits the economic performance. In other liquid metal cooled reactor concepts, advanced materials and better understanding and control of coolant and materials interactions are necessary for realizing the potentials.

Liquid sodium has been selected as the primary coolant candidate for Gen. IV nuclear energy systems. Global Nuclear Partnership (GNEP) Advanced Burned Reactor (ABR ...


Modeling And Design Algorithms For Electromagnetic Pumps, Daniel P. Cook, Yitung Chen, Jian Ma Jan 2008

Modeling And Design Algorithms For Electromagnetic Pumps, Daniel P. Cook, Yitung Chen, Jian Ma

Reactor Campaign (TRP)

Electromagnetic (EM) induction pumps are used extensively in current and proposed nuclear power systems and industrial molten metal transfer operations. Although the Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) theory that underlies the operation of these types of pumps has been studied extensively in the past few decades, the design of specific EM pumping systems for specific flow cases requires computational tools and expertise, which is lacking in the U.S. However, for the past two years, researchers at UNLV have been utilizing the TC-1 liquid metal loop system at UNLV and an Annular Linear Induction Pump (ALIP) to drive the liquid metal and to ...


Thermal Transient Flow Rate Sensor For High Temperature Liquid Metal Cooled Nuclear Reactor, Yingtao Jiang, Jian Ma Jan 2008

Thermal Transient Flow Rate Sensor For High Temperature Liquid Metal Cooled Nuclear Reactor, Yingtao Jiang, Jian Ma

Reactor Campaign (TRP)

In nuclear power plants and accelerator driven systems (ADS) for nuclear waste treatment, it is important to monitor the coolant flow rate in the reactor core and pipe-line. In such a strong irradiation, high pressure, and temperature environment, the existing flow measurement techniques (such as Electromagnetic flow meters, Ultrasonic flow meters, Turbine flow meters, etc.) are not accurate and reliable.

The measurement of flow rates (mass flow rates or volume flow rate) plays a notable role in monitoring and controlling the experimental conditions. The bulk flow rates can be obtained through direct methods, which measure the amount of discharged fluids ...


Knowledge-Based Information Resource Management System For Materials Of Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor, Sean Hsieh Jan 2008

Knowledge-Based Information Resource Management System For Materials Of Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactor, Sean Hsieh

Reactor Campaign (TRP)

In the development of advanced fast reactors, materials and coolant/ material interactions pose a critical barrier for higher temperature and longer core life designs. For sodium-cooled fast reactors (SFRs) such as the Experimental Breeder Reactors in Idaho and the Fast Flux Test Facility in Hanford, experience has shown that qualified structural materials and fuel cladding severely limits their economic performance.

Liquid sodium has been selected as the primary coolant candidate for the Advanced Burner Reactor (ABR) of the Global Nuclear Partnership (GNEP). Materials improvement has been identified as a major thrust to improve fast reactor economics. Researchers from universities, national ...


High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report July 1, 2007 Through September 30, 2007, Anthony Hechanova Oct 2007

High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report July 1, 2007 Through September 30, 2007, Anthony Hechanova

Publications (NSTD)

• Ceramatec Sulfuric Acid Decomposer. The numerical model of a SiC ceramic coupon with two layers of microchannels was developed. Calculations of the factor of safety and probability of failure for the case of a straight channel were performed. Results for a pressure of 7.5 MPa were performed. The thermal and mechanical stress analyses of the Ceramatec HTHX and decomposer were completed.

• Bayonet Heat Exchanger. The thermal and mechanical stress analyses of the bayonet type HTHX and decomposer (Sandia design) were completed. Temperature profiles obtained from thermocouples measured from the Sandia experiments have been applied to the whole packed bed ...


Unlv Research Foundation High Temperature Heat Exchanger Development: 9/08, Anthony Hechanova Sep 2007

Unlv Research Foundation High Temperature Heat Exchanger Development: 9/08, Anthony Hechanova

Publications (NSTD)

Barriers addressed:

Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative R&D Plan – Material performance and component design and testing for the intermediate heat exchanger and high-temperature thermochemical water splitting (H2SO4 decomposition and HI decomposition). Improved materials for High Temperature Electrolysis.


High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report April 1, 2007 Through June 30, 2007, Anthony Hechanova Jul 2007

High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report April 1, 2007 Through June 30, 2007, Anthony Hechanova

Publications (NSTD)

• Ceramatec Sulfuric Acid Decomposer. Modeling with different reacting flow channel configurations (ribbed-surface channels, hexagonal channels, and diamond-shaped channels) was performed. The probability of failure for the one channel geometry with different reacting flow channel configurations was calculated to be zero in the three principal directions for all of the cases.

• Bayonet Heat Exchanger. The Matlab code for calculating the probability of failure using a two-dimensional axisymmetric model of the bayonet decomposer was developed. The probability of failure was calculated for the inner and outer SiC walls, and the intermediate quartz wall of the decomposer and found to be zero for ...


High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report January 1, 2007 Through March 31, 2007, Anthony Hechanova Apr 2007

High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report January 1, 2007 Through March 31, 2007, Anthony Hechanova

Publications (NSTD)

• The variation of sulfur dioxide production (throughput) of the baseline design of the Ceramatec sulfuric acid decomposer with total mass flow rate of reacting flow has been calculated. According to the calculations, the sulfur dioxide production increases as the total mass flow rate of reacting flow increases regardless of the fact that decomposition percentage of sulfuric trioxide decreases. A parametric study of the baseline design of the Ceramatec sulfuric acid decomposer was performed.

• The thermal performance using various channel geometries for the decomposer was studied. The baseline design (straight channels) has 89.5% thermal efficiency while the thermal efficiency of ...


High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report October 1, 2006 Through December 31, 2006, Anthony Hechanova Jan 2007

High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report October 1, 2006 Through December 31, 2006, Anthony Hechanova

Publications (NSTD)

Modifications to the single-channel models of the Ceramatec heat exchanger and decomposer concept for hexagonal flow channels under two values of layer-overlapping (50% and 100%) and for diamond-shaped flow channels were completed.

The finite element calculations of the “Ball on Three Ball Test” for ceramic material for the purpose of selecting the appropriate specimen thickness for future experimental testing was performed for plate thicknesses ranging from 2 to 8 mm.

A finite element model of the “Ball on Three Ball Test” was also studied for discs having micro-channels.


Modeling And Design Algorithms For Electromagnetic Pumps, Daniel P. Cook Jan 2007

Modeling And Design Algorithms For Electromagnetic Pumps, Daniel P. Cook

Reactor Campaign (TRP)

Electromagnetic (EM) induction pumps are used in a number of nuclear energy related applications, such as circulation of molten lead-bismuth eutectic alloys in neutron targets, and circulation of liquid sodium metal in Gen IV Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (SFR). Because EM pumps have no moving parts which can fail, they are considerably more reliable than conventional mechanical pumps for molten metal usage, and thus EM pumps are favored over mechanical pumps even though their pumping efficiency is lower and their initial cost is higher when compared to mechanical pumps of similar flow rates.

The research objectives of this task are:

  • A ...


Thermal Transient Flow Rate Sensor For High Temperature Liquid Metal Cooled Nuclear Reactor, Yingtao Jiang Jan 2007

Thermal Transient Flow Rate Sensor For High Temperature Liquid Metal Cooled Nuclear Reactor, Yingtao Jiang

Reactor Campaign (TRP)

In nuclear power plants and accelerator driven system (ADS) for nuclear waste treatment, it is important to monitor the coolant flow rate in the reactor core and pipe-line. In such a strong irradiation, high pressure and temperature environment, no accurate local flow measurement technique is readily available. Electromagnetic (EM) flow meter is popular in low temperature application as it is a non-intrusive technology. However, additional voltage will be produced due to temperature, flow, pressure, the chemical properties of the liquid metal and surface condition of the steel walls. In addition, the non-definite wetting behavior of liquid lead-bismuth to the electrically ...


High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report July 1, 2006 Through September 30, 2006, Anthony Hechanova Oct 2006

High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report July 1, 2006 Through September 30, 2006, Anthony Hechanova

Publications (NSTD)

Hydrodynamics and thermal numerical modeling coupled with sulfur trioxide decomposition for the one channel geometry with three different channel configurations were performed. The results obtained from the numerical modeling were compared with the baseline design under the same boundary and operation conditions. The case with diamond shaped channels has the highest percentage of sulfuric acid decomposition. The baseline channel geometry has the lowest pressure drop compared with other cases.


High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report April 1, 2006 Through June 30, 2006, Anthony Hechanova Aug 2006

High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report April 1, 2006 Through June 30, 2006, Anthony Hechanova

Publications (NSTD)

Numerical Analyses of the Ceramatec Sulfuric Acid Decomposer. Comparisons with experiments for the Ceramatec sulfuric acid decomposer coupon with eight straight channels for four different geometries and four different flow rates were performed. All of the operation and boundary conditions for the calculations were the same as in the Ceramatec experiments. Good agreement was found. The overall pressure drop difference between calculations and experiments for most of the cases is within 10%.


High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report January 1, 2006 Through March 31, 2006, Anthony Hechanova Apr 2006

High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report January 1, 2006 Through March 31, 2006, Anthony Hechanova

Publications (NSTD)

Quarterly Collaboration Meeting. The UNLVRF HTHX Project quarterly meeting was held in Albuquerque, NM, March 16 and 17, 2006. The purpose of the meeting was to promote collaboration and communication among the UNLV Research Foundation partners. A tour of Sandia National Laboratory was also provided that included a visit to their sulfuric acid decomposition test apparatus. There were 24 attendees from universities, national laboratories, and private industry. Collaborators discussed their research progress. The next meeting will be in July in Salt Lake City, UT.


Unlv Research Foundation High Temperature Heat Exchanger Development, Anthony Hechanova Apr 2006

Unlv Research Foundation High Temperature Heat Exchanger Development, Anthony Hechanova

Publications (NSTD)

Barriers addressed:

Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative R&D Plan – Material performance and component design and testing for: intermediate heat exchanger and high-temperature thermochemical water splitting (H2SO4 decomposition and HI decomposition). Improved materials for High Temperature Electrolysis.


High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report October 1, 2005 Through December 31, 2005, Anthony Hechanova Jan 2006

High Temperature Heat Exchanger Project: Quarterly Progress Report October 1, 2005 Through December 31, 2005, Anthony Hechanova

Publications (NSTD)

  • Liquid Salt Technical Working Group Meeting. The first meeting of the Liquid Salt Technical Working Group was held on October 28, 2005 at the Pratt Whitney Rocketdyne facility in Canoga Park, CA. 20 experts from academia, industry, and national laboratories participated to discuss current state of knowledge and research needs for high temperature liquid salt applications.
  • Nuclear Hydrogen Initiative Semi-annual Review. Several participants from the UNLVRF University Consortium gave technical presentations at the NHI Semi-annual Review meeting in Rockville, MD, November 9-10, 2005.
  • Quarterly Collaboration Meeting. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas hosted a UNLVRF HTHX Project quarterly meeting December ...


Developing A Sensing System For The Measurement Of Oxygen Concentration In Liquid Pb-Bi Eutectic, Yingtao Jiang, Bingmei Fu Jan 2006

Developing A Sensing System For The Measurement Of Oxygen Concentration In Liquid Pb-Bi Eutectic, Yingtao Jiang, Bingmei Fu

Transmutation Sciences Materials (TRP)

The research objectives of this project were as follows:

  • To generate calibration curves of voltage versus oxygen concentration for the YSZ oxygen sensor system under various temperatures in liquid LBE.
  • To determine the sensor characteristics of the YSZ sensor system.
  • To determine oxygen dissolving rates in LBE under different temperatures in vitro.
  • To study the effects of unwanted electrical conductivity, contributed by the mobility of the electrons at high temperatures, for more accurate oxygen measurement.
  • To study alternative and promising oxygen measuring methods.


Magnetohydrodynamic Simulation Of Electromagnetic Pump In Tc-1, Lillian J. Ratliff Jan 2006

Magnetohydrodynamic Simulation Of Electromagnetic Pump In Tc-1, Lillian J. Ratliff

Reactor Campaign (TRP)

The pilot molten lead-bismuth target circuit (TC-1) in university of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) was designed for beam power of 1 MW accelerator driven system (ADS). The TC-1 is a liquid lead-bismuth eutectic (LBE) circulation loop. Circulation of the liquid alloy is driven by an annular linear induction pump (ALIP). Experimental measurements of system parameters have yielded a surprisingly low pump efficiency of less than 1%. A numerical study of the pump efficiency is being conducted to determine which operational parameters are responsible for this low efficiency and to give insight into future EM pump design. The numerical study will ...


Cracking Of Martensitic Alloy Ep-823 Under Controlled Potential, Ajit K. Roy, M. K. Hossain Jan 2006

Cracking Of Martensitic Alloy Ep-823 Under Controlled Potential, Ajit K. Roy, M. K. Hossain

Mechanical Engineering Faculty Publications

The susceptibility of martensitic Alloy EP-823 to stress corrosion cracking was evaluated with and without an applied cathodic potential using the slow-strain-rate (SSR) testing technique. The magnitude of the applied potential was based on the corrosion potential determined by cyclic polarization. The cracking susceptibility in an acidic environment at different temperatures was expressed in terms of the true failure stress (ơf), time to failure (TTF), and ductility parameters, including percent elongation (%El) and percent reduction in area (%RA). The data indicate that the magnitudes of ơr, TTF, %El, and %RA were reduced due to cathodic charging. The scanning ...