PhD and Master Theses

Current PhD Theses

Stefan Radman: “Application of coarse-mesh thermal hydraulic methodologies to multiphysics analysis of nuclear reactors”
Stefan’s Ph.D. work is focused on the development of coarse-mesh approaches for the treatment of nuclear reactor core thermal hydraulics within the OpenFOAM environment. The treatment of Sodium Fast Reactors is of particular interest to this work, yet the final spectrum of reactors treatable with the developed methods will be considerably wider. The application of coarse mesh approaches is intended to lessen the computational burden of CFD simulations and simplify CFD modelling of nuclear reactors. In fact, while retaining formal equivalence with 1-D methodologies in the main flow direction, coarse mesh approaches should be able to predict 3-D effects as well. The ultimate goals of the work are to provide a thorough overview of the advantages and disadvantages of coarse mesh approaches and to incorporate the developed approaches in the OpenFOAM-based GeN-FOAM multiphysics platform.

Alessandro Scolaro: “Development of 3D Nuclear Performance Code with OpenFOAM”

Alessandro’s Ph.D project focuses on the development of a new 3D nuclear fuel performance solver based on the open-source C++ library OpenFOAM. The final aim is to be able to investigate the most complex 3D safety relevant phenomena affecting fuel performance during operation. Most of these phenomena, like a missing pellet surface, asymmetric heat exchange or Pellet Cladding Mechanical Interaction (PCMI), cannot be properly modeled with legacy codes, due to their inherent 1.5D nature. The current implementation focuses on the classic Light Water Reactor fuel type (UO2 pellet inside a Zircaloy cladding), but new material classes could be added in the future to enable the modeling of different reactor types. Finally, thanks to the use of OpenFOAM, the new tool will supplement and interact with other available OpenFOAM solvers. Activities are already planned for a coupling with the multi-physics platform GeN-Foam, developed at the LRS.

Fanny Vitullo: “Measurement with high spatial resolution neutron detectors for the validation of high-fidelity transport codes”

Tom Mager: “Validation of a deterministic model of CROCUS using high resolution measurements”

The direct measurement of flux distribution with fine spatial (and energy) resolution is needed to address one of the validation shortcomings of the novel neutronics full core solvers (MPACT,
nTRACER, etc… ). Even though a very detailed resolution of the flux and reaction rates can be calculated with such codes, only a limited experimental dataset exists, which can be used to check their accuracy. Monte Carlo codes are typically used to check the quality of such deterministic calculations. The key desired dual outcomes of the thesis are the development of a validated high fidelity model of CROCUS using the transport theory and a heterogeneous geometry description; as well as the documentation of potential additional measurements done in CROCUS, suitable for the validation of high fidelity simulation tools in an international benchmark book.

Current Master Theses

Edoardo Brunetto: “Highly localized measurements in the UniStuttgart SUR-100 reactor”

Past PhD Theses

  • “Experimental and numerical study of stochastic branching noise in nuclear reactors” Oskari Pakari, Thesis No. 8336
  • “Development and Application of Data Assimilation Methods in Reactor Physics” Daniel Siefman, Thesis No. 7525
  • “Performance assessment of a 3-D steady-state and spatial kinetics model for the CROCUS reactor” Adolfo Rais, Thesis No. 8248
  • “Characterisation and analysis of double-deposit miniature fission chambers signals in the MINERVE reactor” Adrien Theler, Master thesis under the supervision of B. Geslot (CEA) and V. Lamirand (EPFL)
  • “Analysis of a PWR-MSLB event employing directly coupled CFD” D. Bertolotto
  • “Improvement of the inherent and passive safety characteristics of gas-cooled fast reactor” A. Epiney
  • “Single- and Two-Phase Flow Modelling for Coupled Neutronics/Thermal-Hydraulic Transient Analysis of Advanced Sodium-Cooled Fast Reactors” A. Chenu
  • “Appraisal of BWR core analysis methods against the LWR-PROTEUS experiments” F. Giust
  • “Fission rates measured using high energy gamma-rays from short half-life fission products in fresh and spent nuclear fuel” H. Kröhnert
  • “Development of the control assembly pattern and dynamic analysis of the generation IV large gas-cooled fast reactor (GFR)” G. Girardin, Thesis No. 4437, 2009
  • “Modelling of fission gas behaviour in high burnup nuclear fuel” P. Blair, Thesis No. 4084, 2008
  • “Development and application of an advanced fuel model for the safety analysis of the generation IV gas-cooled fast reactor” P. Petkevich, Thesis No. 4180, 2008
  • “Characterisation of high-burnup LWR fuel rods through gamma-tomography” S. Caruso, Thesis No. 3762, 2007
  • “Development and application of objective uncertainty measures for transient code predictions” P. Vinai, Thesis No. 3897, 2007
  • “Decomposition analysis of reactivity effect predictions for modern LWR fuel” F. Tani, Thesis No. 3656, 2006
  • “Development and validation of data sets and Monte Carlo methods for electron/positron transport at low and medium energies” C. E. Negreanu, Thesis No. 3403, 2005
  • “Development and validation of on-line dosimetric methods for the treatment of prostate cancer” V. O. Zilio, Thesis No. 3267, 2005
  • “BWR stability analysis using a novel reduced order model and the system code RAMONA” A. Dokhane, Thesis No. 2927, 2004
  • “Numerical and experimental studies of the characteristics of a sub-critical fast system driven by an external source” M. Plaschy, Thesis No. 2953, 2004
  • “Benchmarking of ADS calculational tools and their application to different waste transmutation scenarios” M. Cometto, Thesis No. 2714, 2003
  • “Investigation of within-pin reaction rate distributions in a highly heterogeneous fuel assembly” C. Pralong, Thesis No. 2663, 2002
  • “On the modelling of reactivity initiated accidents in light water reactor cores containing high-burnup fuel” T. Sengstag, Thesis No. 2355, 2001
  • “Reactivity measurements and their interpretation in systems with large spatial effects,” M. Rosselet, Thesis No. 1930, 1999
  • “Design of a uranium-free LWR core for plutonium burning U. Kasemeyer, Thesis No. 1757, 1998
  • “Experimental neutron balance investigations of water entry in a HTR with low enriched uranium fuel” O. Köberl, Thesis No. 1803, 1998
  • “Development and validation of gamma-heating calculational methods for Pu-burning fast reactors” A. Lüthi, Thesis No. 1854, 1998