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Group of students sitting around a large table looking at a presentation.
Andrew Wysong (LANL Division Leader – Nuclear Criticality Safety) giving presentation on nuclear criticality safety topics at LANL to Nuclear Engineering undergraduate students participating in the program

In collaboration with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)

Program organizers: Dr. Pavel Tsvetkov and Dr. Sunil Chirayath

This program presents the fundamentals and importance of nuclear criticality safety with respect to nuclear R&D operations, exposing students to the criticality safety discipline and helping prepare them for a future career in the field.

The program is designed to create a pipeline of nuclear criticality safety engineers to U.S. national laboratories and industry. Initiated with support from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), participating students are encouraged to apply for an internship at LANL’S Nuclear Criticality Safety Division.

What is Nuclear Criticality Safety?

Nuclear Criticality Safety is the prevention of unwanted nuclear chain reactions in fissile materials through technical and administrative control measures.

Topics covered

Fall semester:
  1. Intro to NCS
  2. Fundamentals of Criticality Safety
  3. Historical Criticality Accidents
  4. Hand Calculations
  5. MCNP Intro, Practical Use
  6. Critical Experiments
  7. MCNP Validation
  8. Project
Spring semester:
  1. Review of Previous Semester
  2. CFR/DOE Regulations/Standards
  3. ANS Standards
  4. Hazards Analysis
  5. CSE Writing, - Process Description, Process Analysis, Calculations, Control Selection
  6. CSE Project
  7. Project Time - LANL Interface


U.S. Department of Energy's Nuclear Criticality Safety Program Website

Nuclear Criticality Safety Textbook

Internship Opportunities

Nuclear Criticality Safety Undergraduate Internship

Nuclear Criticality Safety Graduate Internship