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Oct. 20 Lecture: Thermal Hydraulic Research for U.S. Nuclear Energy

By: Cienna Madrid   Published 9:15 pm / October 18, 2017

Portrait of Amir Ali.The mechanical and biomedical engineering department will host guest lecturer Amir Ali, an assistant professor in both mechanical and nuclear engineering at the University of New Mexico, for a talk on “Selected Thermal-Hydraulic Research Activities to Support Current and Future U.S. Nuclear Energy.”

The lecture will take place from noon-1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, in MEC Room 106.

Following the severe accidents that occurred at the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011, research and development for improving the safety of light water reactors (LWRs) have been under way in the United States. Congress has directed the Department of Energy to develop new accident tolerant fuel (ATF) materials. These fuel and cladding materials would potentially have enhanced accident tolerance to improve the reactor performance and safety characteristics under both normal and severe accident conditions. Evaluating the heat transfer characteristics of the newly developed alloys are essential for reactor safety. Quantities including pool and flow boiling heat transfer coefficients and critical heat flux (CHF) are key inputs to determine the thermal safety margin for nuclear reactor system in both pressurized water reactors and boiling water reactors (PWRs and BWRs).

This talk will summarize some of the thermal-hydraulic research activities at UNM to support the ATF program for LWRs and developing new heat exchanger concepts to support fluoride salt-cooled high-temperature reactors.

Ali received his doctorate with distinction in mechanical engineering from University of New Mexico in December 2013. Previously, he had received his bachelor and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from Benha University in Egypt. Currently he leads multiple thermal fluid research activities at the thermal-fluid and reactor safety lab at the university, supporting LWRs and advanced reactor technologies.