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Nuclear Thermal Hydraulics


This area of study is devoted improving the current understanding of the heat and mass transfer, and fluid mechanics processes which transport energy and mass in nuclear systems, and govern system performance and safety. Key phenomena studied include conduction, convection, and radiation heat transfer, phase change, and single and multi-phase flows. In addition to water used to transport heat in present-day reactors, study in this area also covers gas, molten salt, and liquid metal coolants for advanced fission and fusion systems, as well as transport and mixing processes that occur inside reactor containment structures and in environmental systems.

  • The Pebble Bed Advanced High Temperature Reactor (PB-AHTR) is a liquid salt cooled, high temperature reactor design developed at UC Berkeley in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and other national labs.

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  • PB-AHTR uses conventional TRISO high temperature fuel in the form of pebbles slightly smaller than golf balls. The baseline PB-AHTR design uses the well understood beryllium-based salt flibe(7Li2BeF4) as its primary coolant, and flinak (LiF-NaF-KF) as its intermediate coolant.


Faculty with research focus in this area:

William and Jean McCallum Floyd Endowed Chair
4167 Etcheverry Hall