(2015 February 12) CNL Reactor Physicist Blair Bromley was recently recognized by the American Nuclear Society (ANS) with the “Best Paper and Presentation” award in the Reactor Physics Division at the 2014 ANS Winter Meeting. Blair participated in the conference in Anaheim, California this past November, alongside over 1,000 attendees from universities, government laboratories, government agencies, vendors and utilities from around the world.
Titled “Studies of Gas-Cooled Pressure-Tube Blanket Lattices for Hybrid Fusion-Fission Reactors with Thorium-Based Fuels,” Blair’s paper and presentation discussed a proposed concept for a hybrid fusion reactor that shares a number of technological similarities with pressure tube heavy water reactors. The paper was also published in the Transactions of the American Nuclear Society scientific journal (Volume 111, Number 1).
“This study is important because it demonstrates the feasibility of a system that can be used to generate energy through both fusion and fission, and to breed additional fuel that can be used in conventional nuclear reactors,” notes Bromley. “It illustrates an early, practical application for nuclear fusion, and how such a system could be easier to develop and implement than a pure fusion reactor system.”
Bromley’s work helps CNL gain experience and expertise in the science and technology behind nuclear fusion. The work is also meaningful in that it is aligned with the objectives of CNL’s Clean, Safe Energy program, which seeks to advance the development of energy technologies that make a beneficial impact on Canada’s use of clean energy.
“The advantage of this concept is that it builds upon existing technology,” explains Bromley. “Such a reactor could be more feasible to construct and operate, since it would not need to generate more power than it consumes.”
The ANS hold two national meetings per year, one in June and one in November. Each meeting runs four to five days and covers technical and social aspects and implications of nuclear science and technology. The events include numerous technical and plenary sessions, panel discussions, tutorials, workshops and general meetings. Bromley’s paper was well-aligned with the conference, which has many objectives, including the dissemination of results of recent research and development activities in nuclear science and technology.
“It was a great honour to be recognized by my peers and colleagues in the Reactor Physics Division of the ANS for both the paper and associated presentation,” concludes Bromley. “It is also a very humbling experience, because there were so many other excellent papers and presentations that were also delivered at the conference.”