The nuclear industry is flourishing with new nuclear energy systems and technologies. The novelty ranges from the development of completely new reactor systems to applying new manufacturing technologies to nuclear energy, in concert with AI and other emerging fields of science. With the emergence of these systems leveraging more and more cross-disciplinary expertise, assessment and analysis is becoming increasingly challenging.
The Advanced Nuclear Energy System (ANES) group within the Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) Division is a versatile group focused on studying and advancing innovative nuclear energy systems by applying groundbreaking research from inside and outside the nuclear field to advanced designs. These advances are made leveraging a large variety of tools and codes to assess performance and optimize these systems. When capabilities do not exist, new tools are developed and applied to best analyze and improve the aforesaid technology.
The ANES group has expertise on all types of reactor systems, including all Gen-IV reactors and current light-water reactors. ANES is leveraging its skills to support several DOE programs, as well as the industry and technology developers through various agreements, and academia through collaborative work. We are also actively and continuously scouting for emerging needs and opportunities to support the advancement of nuclear systems.
- Versatile Test Reactor: Leading core design activities for the US DOE-NE Versatile Test Reactor project, covering all aspects of the core design and its integration in the overall plant.
- Transformational Challenge Reactor: Bringing together reactor design activities with material testing, qualification, instrumentation and control, and regulatory matters. This is in support of the Transformational Challenge Reactor, a DOE-NE program.
- Micro reactors: Beyond work on the Transformational Challenge Reactor, ANES is supporting development of micro-reactors in collaboration with industrial partners.
- Molten salt reactors: Building on innovative tools developed at Argonne, supporting the industry in performing advanced assessment of these unique reactor systems.
Modeling and Simulation
- Development of new tools to be used for various applications (refueling optimization predictive code; highly flexible fuel management and depletion code; sub-channel thermal-hydraulics code).
- Contributions to the NEAMS program.
- Support of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) domestic and international reactor conversion program.
Innovative Nuclear Systems Design Competition
- Design competition hosted yearly at Argonne for university nuclear engineering students.