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Nuclear Science and Engineering

Argonne’s Nuclear Programs

Nearly every commercial reactor owes its development to seminal research conducted at Argonne National Laboratory.

Argonne’s Current Work

Versatile Test Reactor
Fuel Development & Qualification

Argonne is advancing the design and operation of nuclear energy systems and applying nuclear energy-related expertise to current and emerging programs of national and international significance. We participate in key U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear energy and national security initiatives, leading the nation’s program for development and demonstration of advanced reactor fuels and fuel recycle technologies that promise to improve the affordability of nuclear power, enhancing the assurance of safety and security and minimizing the discharge of radioactive waste, as well as research on radioisotopes for medical applications.

  • Members of the Chemical and Fuel Cycle Technologies Division, as world experts on the nuclear fuel cycle, develop and qualify fuels and innovative fuel recycle processes and equipment, model and understand the behavior of complex nuclear materials, and design fuel cycle facilities.  
  • Members of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Division have expertise in reactor core and safety analyses, design and conversion of research reactors for national security, exploitation of advanced computing machines for modeling and simulation, materials science and technology, experimental facility design, diagnostics and prognostics tools for system monitoring and health assessment

Argonne’s Nuclear-Related Facilities

Argonne maintains world-class facilities where scientists and engineers perform cutting-edge research supporting peaceful nuclear energy, from basic science research to industrial radioisotope production and analysis to enhancing the design and safety of nuclear reactors. Select facilities are listed below, or view the broad list here.

About Argonne

Argonne National Laboratory was founded to develop technologies for civilian uses of nuclear energy. Ever since we were born out of the University of Chicago’s work on the Manhattan Project in the 1940s, our goal has been to make an impact — from the atomic to the human to the global scale. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. 

Argonne’s Nuclear History

Nearly every commercial reactor in operation today was developed from Argonne research. Building on this heritage, we are supporting the reliable, safe and secure use of nuclear power worldwide – and fostering its increased use in the future by incorporating science and engineering breakthroughs in the design of advanced nuclear energy systems.

We capitalize on Argonne’s role as a national center of scientific research and high-performance computing to achieve transformational advances in the performance, safety and economics of nuclear energy systems. Our researchers are developing advanced reactors and fuel-cycle technologies that promise to improve the affordability of nuclear power, enhance the assurance of safety and security, and minimize the discharge of radioactive waste.