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Yoon Il Chang

Argonne Distinguished Fellow - Sr. Advisor, Nuclear Fuel Cycle

Yoon Chang is an Argonne Distinguished Fellow with over 40 years of experience in advanced reactor and innovative fuel cycle technology development and demonstration.


Dr. Chang joined Argonne National Laboratory in 1974 and has been responsible for leadership of advanced reactor design and fuel cycle technology development activities in position of increasing responsibility including: Associate Director of the Applied Physics Division, 1978-84; Director of Large Pool Plant Project, 1982-84; General Manager of the Integral Fast Reactor Program, 1984-94; Associate Laboratory Director for Engineering Research, 1998-2002; Interim Laboratory Director, 1999-2000; and Associate Laboratory Director at Large, 2002-06; Argonne Distinguished Fellow, 2006-present.

Dr. Chang’s outstanding technical leadership was instrumental in the conception, definition and subsequent direction on the IFR development at Argonne. Through his efforts and with the support of the innovative development team, he was able to demonstrate to the national and international reactor community that advanced reactors of the IFR type can make progress with respect to almost every question that has been raised concerning the next-generation nuclear power, particularly resource utilization, inherent passive safety, waste management, proliferation resistance, and economics.

He retired in 2008 and spent two months a year at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology as an invited visiting professor as part of World Class University Program sponsord by KOSEF Grant, and also served as the Chair of IAEA Technical Working Group on Nuclear Fuel Cycle Options and Spent Fuel Management. Early in 2013 he returned to a full-time status at Argonne to direct two projects which he helped to establish – a joint collaboration with Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute for design development of a prototype sodium-cooled fast reactor, and a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Landmark Foundation for conceptual design of a pilot-scale (100 T/yr) pyroprocessing facility for LWR spent fuel.

In recognition of his technical analyses, decisions and leadership of all aspects of the IFR program, he was awarded the U.S. Department of Energy’s prestigious E.O. Lawrence Award. Among his other awards and honors are the Outstanding Alumnus Award, Nuclear Engineering Department, University of Michigan; The University of Chicago Distinguished Performance Award; Distinguished Alumni Award, College of Engineering, Seoul National University; and the Walker Cisler Medal of American Nuclear Society.  He is a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society. He received his B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Seoul National University, Korea, M.E. in Nuclear Engineering from Texas A&M University, Ph.D. in Nuclear Science from the University of Michigan, and M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.