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2005 NCSD Topical Meeting


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Calvin M. Hopper, General ChairOn behalf of the NCSD 2005 Topical Meeting Planning Committee, please receive our cordial invitation to participate in a healthy and active exchange of information.Sincerely,

The beginnings of nuclear criticality safety (NCS) as a formal practice were subsequent to the first few critical experiment accidents during the Manhattan Project shortly after the first manmade divergent chain reaction at the University of Chicago Stagg Field.  The goal of NCS has always been the prevention of nuclear criticality accidents outside of reactors.  That goal was first pursued by estimating the subcritical fissile material batch masses to assure the safety of production personnel during the preparations for the development of the first atomic bomb.  Following those initial subcritical estimates, the application of NCS has played a prominent role in fissile material production for weapons and research-, plutonium-production-, and power-reactor programs.  Since the “Atoms for Peace Program” of the 50’s and 60’s, the international community has evolved into a significant processor and user of fissile materials with the concomitant growth of NCS for fuel fabrication, transportation, storage, reprocessing, waste treatment, and disposal of fissile materials.

NCS is a domain of integrated human and process safety within a subcritical regime of neutron multiplication having a single point for avoidance, nuclear criticality.  Unlike the relatively precise design and operating values of nuclear reactors and weapons, NCS has been administered with broad, and varying, safe margins of subcriticality for personnel and process safety.  Generally, NCS has functioned within the realms of slow- and fast-neutron fission chain multiplication similar to wet-chemistry fissile material processing and commercial power reactors, and fast-breeder experimental reactors and weapons designs.  The evolution and growth of nuclear energy and scientific research has resulted in concepts for the fast- and thermal-breeding of nuclear fuels, nuclear pumping of lasers, nuclear space and aircraft propulsion systems, transmutation of nuclear wastes, materials sciences, and medical isotopes production.  From the 70’s until now the nuclear industry primarily has maintained nuclear technology but with a continuing development of future challenges such as spent fuel storage consolidation and disposition, weapons materials disposition, burial, waste processing, and legacy issues such as decontamination and decommissioning.  In addition to these future challenges there is resurgence of nuclear power for scientific pursuits of extended space exploration, requiring nuclear energy as a power source, and of fourth generation power reactor designs.  Taken together, all of these challenges have the need for additional NCS information, operational enhancements and computational methods for improving, and perhaps nearly optimizing, safety and efficiency of current and future pursuits.  It is the objective of the American Nuclear Society Nuclear Criticality Safety Division (NCSD) 2005 Topical Meeting to address and consider these emerging needs by “Integrating Nuclear Criticality Safety into the Resurgence of Nuclear Power.”

The NCSD 2005 Topical Meeting format will include a Monday-morning opening-plenary session with discussions by speakers knowledgeable about TVA Projections for Future Nuclear Power Generation, NASA Nuclear Program Overview, and International Initiatives Specific to NCS.  Topics for the six one-half-day technical sessions (no parallel sessions are planned) include: NCS Applications, Validation Studies and Software Development, Education/Training/Qualification, and Emerging Initiatives.  A poster session is planned as one of the technical session periods.

On behalf of the NCSD 2005 Topical Meeting Planning Committee, please receive our cordial invitation to participate in a healthy and active exchange of information.


Calvin M. Hopper, General Chair