The primary areas of expertise in the RFCA group are advanced reactor core design and analysis, reactor physics, radiation transport, and fuel cycle systems analysis, which are well-established core competencies within Argonne’s nuclear energy research portfolio. Historically and to this day, the group has played a significant role in the design and analysis of sodium-cooled fast reactors worldwide, and has also developed significant expertise in molten salt reactors, small modular reactors, and sub-critical reactors through supporting the goals of DOE-NE and DOE-NNSA, collaborations with industry partners, and involvement in international reactor projects. The group’s researchers have concentrated on guiding the development of computer codes for the assessment of reactor performance and safety characteristics, verifying and validating codes through benchmarks and measured data, and applying these models in analyses that support core design and fuel cycle optimization. The group’s fuel cycle activities involve developing nuclear fuel cycle systems codes for analysis of transition to advanced reactor fleets, integrated management of storage and transportation of spent fuel, disposition of excess weapons materials, spent fuel dose rate calculations, and transmutation of transuranics and long-lived fission products.
World-class expertise in reactor physics, fuel cycle system analysis, and national nuclear security