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Hines Shares Buzz About Fast Neutron Source

Wes Hines.Department Head Wes Hines recently spoke on a webinar hosted by ClearPath and Clear Air Task Force (CATF), which featured universities that are looking at new nuclear energy technologies on their campuses. The goal of the webinar was to showcase the reactor and core projects underway at various colleges.

Hines joined presenters from Abilene Christian University and the University of Illinois in a webinar co-moderated by leaders from ClearPath and CATF. ClearPath is a non-profit organization focused on developing and advancing clean energy innovation, while CATF is an organization that promotes climate change solutions through technology advocacy, policy advocacy, and thought leadership.

The presentation gave Hines an opportunity to share more broadly about the plans for the Fast Neutron Source (FNS), a subcritical system that will be located in the new Zeanah Engineering Complex set to open in 2021.

“We are thrilled by the impending opening of the Zeanah Engineering Complex, and we appreciate the opportunity to share about the FNS, which we think will provide the nation a much needed experimental facility that supports advanced reactor design,” said Hines. “By utilizing AI technology, the core can be quickly reconfigured to optimally simulate any fast reactor design”

The FNS will be situated in a shielded vault with security and safety focus. It is not a nuclear reactor, but rather a core that features a reconfigurable design based on the Masurca facility in France. The reconfigurable design provides the flexibility to mimic the neutron spectrum of a sodium, molten salt, or lead-cooled advanced reactor.