Areas of Research
Lane Carasik, Ph.D.
Braden Goddard, Ph.D.
Gennady Miloshevsky, Ph.D.
Supathorn Phongikaroon, P.E., Ph.D.
Jessika Rojas, Ph.D.
Zeyun Wu, Ph.D.
James Miller, M.S., P.E.
The Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation Laboratory performs cutting edge applied research to primarily combat the threat of nuclear terrorism and state level proliferation. The group also performs research on related topics, including domestic and international safeguards, nuclear materials assay, nuclear forensics, radioactive material search techniques, and arms control.
Assaying radioactive materials with a variety of radiation detectors to benchmark their capabilities.
Design of an autonomous UAS deployment system to asses a radiological incident.
Nuclear Reactor Simulator Laboratory
The VCU nuclear reactor simulator, Richmond Pile 3, is a classroom and research tool that emulates a large commercial pressurized water reactor (PWR). Richmond Pile 3 enables students to understand the operation, control, and behavior of a nuclear power plant under both routine operation and accident conditions in a real time, interactive environment.
Sample reactor simulator screen windows. INuRTIA logo by Kaleb Gill
Nuclear engineering students using the reactor simulator.
Computational Energy-Material-Interaction Laboratory
The Computational Energy-Material-Interaction Laboratory (CEMIL) focuses on the interaction of intense energy fluxes such as radiation, plasma, particle and laser beams with materials and prediction of material behavior and properties under extreme pressures and temperatures. The research areas include modeling of thermodynamic, optical, and electrical properties of Warm Dense Plasmas; computational studies of the internal charging of dielectric and insulating materials of a spacecraft under the impact of Jovian electrons and photons (Europa Lander project); modeling of ultrafast laser-material interactions at an atomic level, nature and behavior of materials in a highly non-equilibrium state; and theoretical analysis and computational modeling of macroscopic melt splashes and losses from metallic divertor plates and wall materials in fusion devices such as ITER.
Calculated ion composition of solid-density warm dense Cu plasma as a function of temperature.
WDP generated by cold X-rays on satellite’s solar cells from exo-atmospheric nuclear blast.
Radiochemistry Laboratory & Laser Spectroscopy Laboratory (Molten Salt Research Group)
The Molten Salt Research Group works within both the Radiochemistry & Laser Spectroscopy Laboratories. The research focus is on the chemical and electrochemical separation of used nuclear fuel through multicomponent molten salt system in a controlled environment, along with elemental detection using mass spectrometry and novel laser spectroscopy techniques.
SEM of uranium dendrite growing using an electrochemical method controlling an overpotential at 50 mV in UCl3-LiCl-KCl system.
Setup of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy technique for elemental detection within molten salt media inside the glovebox (RAM II).
The Nanonuclear Engineering Laboratory integrates nanotechnology with nuclear science and technology in addition to performing research in the areas of radiation chemistry, radiation processing, radioisotopes applications, and various aspects of nuclear materials and the effects of radiation in their properties and structure.
X-ray irradiation facility for radiation processing.
Characterizing materials through microscopy techniques.
The Computation Applied Reactor Physics Laboratory (CARPL) centers on developing efficient and accurate computational methods on fission reactor and other nuclear applications. CARPL also utilizes state-of-the-art nuclear computer codes to tackle challenging and contingent problems in reactor physics, reactor design and analysis, and nuclear-data sensitivity and uncertainty analysis by performing multi-scale and multi-physics integrated computational modeling and simulation.
The plate-type HEU fuel is replaced by rod-type GA LEU fuel.
Comparing the SA results to the SI method for a 1D heterogeneous problem.
Fluids in Advanced Systems and Technology (FAST) Group
The Fluids in Advanced Systems and Technology (FAST) Group is a computational and experimental thermal hydraulics group focused on enabling the development of advanced energy systems. This group utilizes and develops high fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and reduced-order design tools intended for nuclear, solar and geothermal power plants. The FAST Group conducts experimental activities for investigating fundamental phenomena in fluid systems, generating new correlations for design related data of fluid systems (heat transfer coefficients and pressure drop), and creating validation data for high fidelity CFD methods.
Investigating cross flow in a Molten Salt Reactor heat exchanger tube bundle is useful for learning about pressure losses and heat transfer occurring in the bundle. This information can then be used for design and optimization of compact heat exchangers for molten salt reactor applications.
Investigating flow across a cylinder is useful for learning about pressure distributions on the cylinder and eventually heat transfer from cylinder to the fluid. This can be extended to learning about flow in heat exchangers, flow over a wing, and wind loading on a building.