The Nuclear Engineering program of the University of Florida is comprised of classroom and laboratory instruction at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and a strong, diverse research program.
The ongoing mission of the program is to provide an education to individuals who will make key contributions and become future leaders serving Florida and the nation by improving and applying nuclear science and technology.
Students interested in study towards the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees should contact appropriate faculty members to determine their individual research directions.Nuclear Materials
According to the NRC, “Special nuclear material” (SNM) is defined by Title I of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 as plutonium, uranium-233, or uranium enriched in the isotopes uranium-233 or uranium-235. The definition includes any other material that the Commission determines to be special nuclear material, but does not include source material. The NRC has not declared any other material as SNM.
Nuclear materials research in the Nuclear Engineering Program at UF is focused on developing advanced nuclear fuel material to improve the thermal conductivity of the nuclear fuel resulting in reduced fuel temperatures, fuel thermal expansion, thermal cracking and fission gas releases to produce a better performing, higher burn-up, and more accident tolerant fuel.
Researchers: Yang, Tulenko, Aitkaliyeva
Modeling and Simulation
At UF, NE faculty and students are engaged in research in a number of important areas, including advanced modeling and simulation of reactor neutronics, reactor criticality safety, methods development for reactor physics applications, radiation shielding methods development, neutron and gamma cross section data procession methods and tools, as well as methods and code development for static and time-dependent neutron transport.
Nuclear Security and Safeguards
The NRC is responsible to ensure safeguards and security by regulating licensees’ accounting systems for special nuclear and source materials and security programs and contingency plans.
The terms safeguards and security are generally used to describe programs that promote the common defense and security and protect public health and safety by guarding against theft and sabotage. The licensee security programs and contingency plans deal with threats, thefts, and sabotage relating to special nuclear material, high-level radioactive wastes, nuclear facilities, and other radioactive materials and activities that the NRC regulates.
Students who are interested in this field of study will have the opportunity to pursue careers in domestic and international safeguards measures at NRC or IAEA.
Researchers: Baciak, Enqvist
Thermal hydraulics research at UF is conducted at the Laboratory for Visualization, Imaging, and Computation of Thermohydraulics for Reactors (VICTR), where research is focused on two-phase flow, nuclear reactor thermal hydraulics, quantitative visualization, nuclear reactor safety, computational and numerical methods including coupled codes and advanced nuclear power systems.
Nuclear engineering is unique at UF because of the augmentation by the UF Training Reactor (UFTR). The reactor is 1 of only 31 research reactors in the country. It is an Argonaut type reactor and it has a power limit of 100 kW. The reactor uses low enriched uranium (LEU) as fuel after undergoing a fuel conversion in 2006.
The reactor was built and began operation in 1959 and plays a vital role in the Nuclear Engineering education at UF. It provides tools for training, education and experiment for students and allows collaboration between faculty in areas of nuclear physics and material.