UTILIZING RESEARCH REACTORS FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING: INTERNET REACTOR LABORATORY

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1 UTILIZING RESEARCH REACTORS FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING: INTERNET REACTOR LABORATORY Judy VYSHNIAUSKAS Junior Professional Officer Research Reactor Section Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology Department of Nuclear Energy, IAEA, Vienna, Austria IAEA

2 IAEA Research Reactor Section - Programmatic Areas

3 Project Overview PUI project Increasing the Global Supply of Nuclear Education and Training Programmes through Research Reactors Facilities Research reactor networks & coalitions: the Eastern European Research Reactor Initiative (EERRI) Group Fellowship Training Programme on Research Reactors Internet Reactor Laboratory (IRL) project Compendium on Research Reactors Utilization for Higher Education Programmes

4 Internet Reactor Laboratory (IRL) Virtual reactor in a remote location by linking a host reactor with university classrooms in neighbouring states via the internet. Data acquisition hardware & software allow sending signals over the internet. Real-time display of the reactor s control panel. Using a VC system students interact with the reactor operator, asking to change reactor settings in real time. Intended to increase the global supply of nuclear education (without increasing the number of research reactors). Potentially for nuclear reactor projects. Suitable for non-power applications of nuclear technology (nuclear medicine or nuclear scientific research).

5 THE HOST Hardware and software installed in a research reactor collect data on live reactor operations. Video conference equipment is setup in the control room. Reactor experiments for students at remote sites need to be carried out. TRANSFER Using the Internet, these signals can be sent anywhere in the world. THE REMOTE SITE Software at the remote site displays the reactor signals. Can be live or pre-recorded. Video conference equipment allows the remote site to talk to reactor operators and carry out live experiments. Have or develop reactor-based curriculum.

6 PULSTAR Reactor NCSU/ U.S Reactor Parameters Audio/ Video data NE Department JUST/Jordan

7 Curriculum Generally aimed at advanced undergraduate or masters level physics or engineering students (experiments may vary). Does not replace theoretical book work. Not from the IAEA, though we re willing to assist where possible and beneficial! From remote site institution with input from the host reactor about integration of labs. Orientation workshop at the host reactor with the main instructors of the guest institutions (Argentina & France). Labs will be provided by the host reactor shared before the workshop.

8 Advantages Uses technology to bring reactors to students, Cost-effective way to add a lab component to nuclear courses at the university level, Teaching is more interactive, students can design their own experiments and ask for readings to be repeated, Adds value to university s curriculum, can be used for a larger class-size than a real RR (5 students 20 students), Valuable for newcomers: enables institutes to connect to well-established RRs with experienced staff & planned experiments development of human resources & networking Opportunity for underutilised RRs to position themselves as leaders in teaching & training justification for operation, can be also a revenue generator.

9 IAEA implementation Latin America: Host reactor: RA-6 reactor in Bariloche, Argentina. Agreement signed in late Equipment purchased by the IAEA. Equipment installed. Waiting for guest institutions to be ready to kick-off the project. Guest institutions: Cuba (Institute of Technology and Applied Sciences), Ecuador (Escuela Politecnica Nacional), Bolivia (Universidad Mayor de San Andres), Colombia (Universidad Nacional), Jamaica (University of West Indies) and Spain (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Universidad del Pais Vasco).

10 Approach: students will have the RR parameters in their laptops due to direct connection to the data base (online).

11 IAEA implementation (2) Europe: Host reactor: INSTN/CEA in Saclay, France. Agreement signed during IAEA GC Guest institutions: Lithuania (Vilnius University), Montenegro (University of Montenegro), Belarus (Belarusian State University), Bulgaria (Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy), Spain, Tunisia, Tanzania as potential guest institutions. 57th Agency General Conference (side event); Sept The first demonstration of an internet based reactor exercises was provided. The audience witnessed two experiments broadcast live from the ISIS RR in Saclay, France Other regions: Africa and Asia.

12 IRL Virtual Reactor Experiments Latin America will broadcast six core labs in a semester: Nuclear instrumentation in a RR (Introduction to the RR) (instrumentación nuclear de un reactor de investigación) Critical approach (enfoque crítico) Control rod calibration (calibración de las barras de control) Control rod reactivity measurement (rod drop) (Medición de la reactividad de las barras de control (caída de las barras) Temperature reactivity coefficient (Coeficiente de reactividad térmica) Void coefficient calculation (Cálculo del coeficiente de huecos)

13 Universidad Nacional IRL project Discussed in 2013 with representatives of the Universidad Nacional (UN). Working on legal document together with UN s lawyers. Students at UN will benefit of reactor experiments, connection with experienced staff at RA-6 reactor is established. Equipment will be bought by IAEA, VC system compatible to receive data and images from Bariloche and TV screens. Financial commitment only for the IAEA, but commitment of the UN is to receive broadcast and ensure sustainability. Initially for MS without RRs suitable for E&T, however in the case of Colombia there is a RR very suitable for E&T! We envision the participation of the UN as a preparation to help them develop a curriculum to include RR experiments at the IAN-R1 in the future. Also other universities.

14 Role of the IAEA Promotes cooperation among RR facilities and users in other MS. Coordination, communication (advice/assistance), creating the legal framework. Financial support (transmission fees for a specific period of time, now 5 years with RA-6 reactor in Argentina). Financial support for participation at orientation workshop at the host reactor. Concern: sustainability of the program (!)

15 Financing Mechanisms & Concept Project initially funded by extrabudgetary contribution from the US Department of State to the IAEA under the project Increasing the Global Supply of Nuclear Education and Training Programmes through Research Reactors Facilities Looking for potential funding/in-kind contributions (!) France for instance. IAEA s concept: 1 host reactor in a region with several universities connected, 1 university per Member State (MS) Many MS as possible as long as budget allows.

16 Compendium on Research Reactors Utilization for Higher Education Programmes Consultancy Meeting (CS) in November Experts/facilities: TU Delft, RA-6 Balseiro, BME, MIT, ISIS. Technical Meeting in of June participants from 16 MS. CS for 1-2Q It will comprise best practices of research reactors for education around the world. It will include detailed information on the experimental laboratory protocols, required facilities and practical implementation to be shared with the RR community. Potential first draft at the end of 2015.

17 Structure of the Compendium 1. MONOGRAPHIC PART (rationale) a) Use of RR for nuclear education; b) Short description of LABs experiments (synthetic theoretical background); c) A matrix: reactor facilities vs. reactor experiments. 2. LABORATORY PROTOCOLS a) Theme 1: approach to criticality General protocol based on facilities input/expert Objective, level of students, equip., safety ( ) b) Theme 2: void. coeff. measurement General protocol based on facilities input/expert c) 3. DATA BASE Individual (original) lab protocols from facilities incl. relevant educational material & contact info. 4. ANNEX incl. proceedings of the TM from each facility.

18 Target Group MS with underutilized RRs that would benefit from the compendium to enhance the utilization of their RR; Operating organizations of a RR that will have a guideline to perform exercises for academic purposes. University professors, which should identify the activities they can perform with the available RRs to be included in their academic lectures and courses. MS embarking on a new RR program.

19 LAB PROTOCOLS General Visit, presentation and demonstration (principles, safety, operation, applications) Safety principles, rules and procedures Radiation protection at a reactor (including personal and area monitoring) Environmental monitoring Reactor Physics and Nuclear Engineering Fuel loading experiment Approach to criticality (assemblies and reactors) Reactor start up and operation (different levels of power) Core reactivity (control rod calibration, reactivity measurements, excess reactivity, impact of experiments ) Core and system thermo-hydraulic (thermal power calibration, temperature measurements fuel water, ) Reactivity feedbacks (temperature effect, void effect, poisoning, pulsed experiment, ) Neutron detectors and detection systems (participation to the protection system) Neutron flux characterisation (neutron distribution and spectrum, in core detector and activation) Applications of Reactors as Neutron Sources Neutron Activation Analysis (including Delayed neutron measurement) Application of neutron irradiation in nuclear chemistry and physics Neutron radiography

20 Related resources See IRL promotional video: IAEA Peaceful Uses Initiative: IAEA publication in applications of research reactors: pub.iaea.org/books/iaeabooks/10491/applications-of-research- Reactors

21 Thank you for your attention! Pic source:

22 Contact Information Ms Judy Vyshniauskas Research Reactor Section Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology Department of Nuclear Energy International Atomic Energy Agency J.Vyshniauskas- T: (+43-1) M: (+43) Mr Andrea Borio Di Tigliole Research Reactor Section Division of Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Waste Technology Department of Nuclear Energy International Atomic Energy Agency T: (+43)

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