From Splitting to Merging: The Dual Faces of Nuclear Power

with Luka Snoj, Head of Reactor Physics Division,
Jozef Stefan Institute, Slovenia
Associate Prof. (Ljubljana University), Adjunct Professor (VT)

April 12, 2024, 10:10 am,
Foggy Bottom (2nd Floor), VTRC, Arlington (in person);
1000 Torgersen Hall, Blacksburg

In this seminar, I will explore nuclear fission and fusion as the most concentrated sources of energy. The presentation will highlight the distinctions and commonalities between fusion and fission nuclear reactors from a nuclear perspective. The focus will then shift to the synergies and potential collaborative pathways, illustrating how experiences from fission can enhance fusion development and vice versa. I will present several instances where fission reactors have contributed to fusion research, including water activation studies and shielding benchmark experiments. A specific segment will address the development of fluid activation instrumentation and experiments adaptable to ITER-relevant conditions, with a special emphasis on the water activation loop at the JSI TRIGA reactor. The lecture will conclude with a forward-looking perspective on the future of cooperation between the fields of nuclear fusion and fission.

Luka Snoj received the Diploma and PhD thesis in Physics from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia in 2005 and 2009, respectively. In 2010, he was on 6 months postdoctoral position at Culham centre for Fusion Energy, where he was charge of neutron transport calculations to support JET neutron yield calibration.

In 2010 has been appointed head of TRIGA reactor at the Jozef Stefan Institute (JSI). Since 2014 he has been head of reactor physics division at the Jozef Stefan Institute. He is very active in teaching; reactor and radiation physics, experimental reactor physics at the Faculty of mathematics and physics where in 2018 he was elected associate professor. Since 2021 he has been appointed an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) at Virginia Tech

He has been advisor to 18 master theses and is advisor to 5 PhD students.

His research interest is mainly theoretical reactor physics related to practical applications in power and research reactors, in particular: Monte Carlo transport of neutrons and photons in fission and fusion nuclear reactors, integral reactor experiments, criticality experiments and calculations. He regularly performs evaluations and evaluation reviews of critical and reactor physics experiments for International Criticality Safety Benchmark Evaluation Project (ICSBEP) and International Reactor Physics Experiment Evaluation (IRPhE) Project working groups under OECD/NEA. Since 2009 he has been directly involved in many international experimental campaigns in which he provided calculations support. That is calibration of neutron monitors to DD and DT neutrons at the Joint European Torus in Culham, UK and many reaction rate and physical parameter measurements at the JSI TRIGA reactor.

He has been project leader of many domestic and international projects for governmental agencies, EU and domestic as well as domestic and international industrial partners.