The U.S. High Performance Research Reactor (USHPRR) Project

with Valerio Mascolino,
Nuclear Engineer, Research and Test Reactor Group,
Argonne National Laboratory

March 22, 2024, 10:10 am
Room 6-051, VTRC, Arlington (In-Person),
440 Goodwin Hall, Blacksburg

For remote access, please register here

In an effort to minimize the proliferation potential of the peaceful use of nuclear energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has been conducting efforts to convert research and test reactors since the 70s. Some of the most technically challenging conversion efforts aim at designing, fabricating, and qualifying a monolithic U-10Mo alloy fuel for the US High Performance Research Reactors (USHPRR). These reactors often have crucial missions and require that their conversion to LEU fuel would not impact their performance. The use of the proposed U-10Mo high-assay low-enriched uranium (HALEU) needs to be demonstrated and the USHPRR unique fuel elements need to be designed with the additional constraints of a fixed core geometry. Argonne leads the Reactor Conversion Pillar of the USHPRR project, performing design and safety analyses in support of the conversion effort, and supports the reactor stakeholders in eventually producing the conversion Safety Analysis Report (SAR). This seminar will focus on the USHPRR project and the multi-disciplinary modeling and analyses efforts conducted by the Argonne in support of these reactor conversions.

Valerio Mascolino graduated with a double MS degree in Energy and Nuclear Engineering from the two most important technical universities in Italy, Politecnico di Torino and Politecnico di Milano. After that, he moved to the US and obtained his PhD in Nuclear Engineering from Virginia Tech. His research interests focus on the development of innovative particle transport algorithms and methodologies, and their implementation into novel software and code systems. His expertise is in hybrid methodologies, with a focus on time-dependent kinetic calculations. In 2021 he joined the Research and Test Reactor Codes group at Argonne National Laboratory, where he serves as the technical lead for the conversion of the MURR reactor and as the responsible software engineer for the Argonne-developed open-source depletion software ADDER.