Erez Gilad (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) | Reactor Physics: An essential link towards nuclear energy in Israel |

Nuclear power, characterized by its reliability, safety, and minimal carbon emissions, contributes approximately 10% to the global electricity supply, with around 450 reactors operational across over 30 nations, accumulating more than 19,000 operational years since the 1960s. Israel has been exploring integrating nuclear energy into its national energy portfolio since the 1970s. Despite the clear benefits of diversifying its energy sources to include nuclear power, Israel must resolve some unique geo-political and security challenges to actualize its nuclear power ambitions. Nonetheless, Israel is preparing to transition into a newcomer state in the nuclear arena. The field of Reactor Physics deals with studying nuclear processes inside a reactor core, especially the nuclear fission chain reaction. This field is essential for understanding the neutron’s behavior in the core and improving its neutronic design. The reactor core constitutes a highly complex system involving many coupled physical, chemical, mechanical, electrical, and material science processes.

This colloquium will start with a brief overview of nuclear energy, highlighting the specific considerations and challenges from an Israeli perspective. The central part of the talk will cover contemporary problems and advances in reactor physics research. This includes exploring stochastic evolutionary algorithms, specifically genetic algorithms, to optimize nuclear core performance, the application of the neutron transport equation and its adjoint for enhancing neutronic core design, and the utilization of the integral neutron transport equation to improve the accuracy of the neutron diffusion approximation.

When: May 27, 2024 2PM (Israel Standard Time).

Where: Room 223, Multipurpose Bldg. & over Zoom