Nuclear engineering faculty author fast spectrum reactor textbook, receive global attention through Japanese translation

Tsvetkov fast reactor book 1

Dr. Alan Waltar, former head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University and past president of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), has collaborated with Dr. Donald Todd, a nuclear engineer with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and Dr. Pavel Tsvetkov, associate professor of nuclear engineering and faculty graduate adviser at Texas A&M, to revise Waltar’s 1981 book, Fast Spectrum Reactors. The original book, co-authored by Dr. Albert Reynolds, has served as a major reference book for fast reactors systems worldwide.

Major updates to the book include additions on transmutation physics, a process used to incinerate nuclear waste, and advances in fuel and materials technology including metal fuels and cladding materials capable of operating under high temperatures and at a high burnup. Additionally, the book details new approaches to design and reactor safety involving passive safety technologies and new chapters on gas-cooled and lead-cooled fast spectrum reactors. 

According to the authors, major international interest has been revitalized in the topic of fast reactors in recent years. The authors say they are fortunate to have attracted what they deem is an exceptionally strong multi-national cadre of world-class fast reactor specialists to provide key updates to the original book. The book was published by the Springer Publishing Company in 2011 and is available worldwide. The book was translated into Japanese in 2016 by a team of nuclear engineering experts led by Dr. Naoyuki Takaki.

While serving as a department head at Texas A&M, Waltar helped to establish the department as the largest nuclear engineering program in the nation. Waltar served more than 30 years at the Westinghouse Hanford Company and after leaving Texas A&M was the director of nuclear energy at PNNL. He currently serves as a consultant to government sponsored and international nuclear organizations and private nuclear firms.

Tsvetkov has served at Texas A&M for more than 11 years. His research interests include advanced energy systems, design methods, instrumentation and control as well as challenges in energy sustainability and societal implications of nuclear power.

 Tsvetkov fast reactor book 2

Dr. Alan Waltar with Dr. Naoyuki Takaki at the book opening ceremony in Japan in Nov.2016.