Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Here you can find our most recent graduate dissertations from our master's and doctoral students. For a look at more of our dissertations within this past year beyond what is shown here, please visit our archived abstract page.

Nitrogen Ion Bombardment of Fuel Cladding Mateirals

Graduate Student: Elizabeth Castanon | Committee Chair: Dr. Lin Shao

Castanon In a nuclear reactor where there are high stresses, temperatures and radiation levels, a number of material problems can occur including corrosion, thermal fatigue cracking, and embrittlement. Material problems are a serious issue in regards to the performance, the advancement, and the safety of nuclear reactors. Fuel cladding materials are of particular significance since cladding is the most important safety barrier, as it contains the majority of radioactive fission products... 

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Xenon-Induced Power Oscillations in a Generic Small Modular Reactor

Graduate Student: Evans Kitcher | Committee Chair: Dr. Sunil Chirayath

Kitcher In this work, a generic SMR design developed and analyzed with respect to xenon-induced power oscillations. A multi-physics coupling routine is implemented with MCNP/MCNPX for neutronics, semi-analytical single channel analysis for thermal hydraulics developed in-house and the SIGACE code from the IAEA for generation of Doppler broadened cross-sections for use with MCNP/ MCNPX. The coupling is fully automated using a PYTHON SCRIPT...

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Implementation of Dose Constraints for Members of the Public and Occupational Workers at the U.S. Nuclear Power Plants

Graduate Student: Tae Young Kong | Committee Chairs: Drs. Gamal Akabani and John W. Poston Sr.

Kong The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) revised its previous recommendations stated in ICRP Publication 60 into ICRP Publication 103. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) determined that it would revise the system of radiation protection regulation with respect to ICRP Publication 103. Therefore, there will be a change in the current NRC regulations to require the implementation of dose constrains for members of the public and occupational workers at the U.S. nuclear power plants (NPPs)...

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Experimentally Validated Neutron Flux Simulation for Triga Large Irradiation Cell

Graduate Student: James B. Tompkins | Committee Chair: Dr. Ryan McClarren

Tompkins The one megawatt TRIGA reactor at Texas A&M has various methods of irradiating samples, but one of the most unique dose positions is severely underutilized. This irradiation cell is a large space where samples may be placed for activation by moving the reactor bridge to a window on the wall of the cell and operating the reactor. Due to the cell’s large size, neutron flux for experiments is difficult to resolve spatially giving predictions of dose to samples a high level of uncertainty. To this end, PDT, a rapidly maturing radiation transport code, is used to simulate the neutron flux distribution for reactor experiments in the cell...

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Improved Fully-Implicit Spherical Harmonics Methods for First and Second Order Forms of the Transport Equation Using Galerkin Finite Element

Graduate Student: Vincent Laboure | Committee Chair: Dr. Pavel Tsvetkov

Laboure In this dissertation, we focus on solving the linear Boltzmann equation - or transport equation - using spherical harmonics (PN) expansions with fully-implicit time-integration schemes and Galerkin Finite Element spatial discretizations within the Multiphysics Object Oriented Simulation Environment (MOOSE) framework. The presentation is composed of two main ensembles. On one hand, we study the first-order form of the transport equation in the context of Thermal Radiation Transport. This nonlinear application physically necessitates to maintain a positive material temperature while the PN approximation tends to create oscillations and negativity in the solution. To mitigate these flaws...

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Archived Abstracts (2016)