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Exploring Nuclear Technologies for Our Energy Future

Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Department of Nuclear Science and Technology conducts research and development related to nuclear technologies (reactors and accelerator-driven systems), reliability and risk assessment, and advanced modeling techniques for reactor simulation and energy systems

The Department serves as a resource for nuclear physics research and nuclear technologies such as reactors, accelerator driven systems, and isotope applications.  It supports the missions of the Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and other national and international organizations. With a world-class staff of professionals with expertise in a broad range of areas so that it can work in materials science, reactor physics, thermal-hydraulics, structural mechanics, human factors, mechanical engineering, risk analysis, and nuclear physics.

The work is done in four groups: 

Nuclear Systems & Structural Analysis Group

The mission of the group is to provide nuclear and engineering analysis support in matters related to nuclear reactor design and safety, non-reactor nuclear facilities, nuclear fuel cycles, and proliferation resistance and physical protection of nuclear energy systems.

MRE Beamline Project Office

The Advanced Materials Group’s mission is to conduct research on materials in extreme environments for advanced energy systems. As part of that mission, the group utilizes synchrotron characterization techniques such as diffraction, spectroscopy, and imaging and is developing sample chambers for the in situ study of materials at the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS).

Reactor Systems & Risk Analysis Group

Since the mid-1980s, a core group of Brookhaven scientists has been carrying out risk and reliability assessments of commercial nuclear power plants and other complex technological systems.  These scientists – now called the Risk Analysis Group -- have also conducted reviews of risk assessments performed by others, such as utilities, to provide objective assessments to government regulators. Historically, the largest sponsor and customer of the group has been the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) but staff members have also performed risk analyses for other domestic agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE), the Federal Aviation Administration, and the New York State Department of Transportation. 

National Nuclear Data Center

The center collects, evaluates, archives and disseminates nuclear physics data for basic nuclear research and for applied nuclear technologies. The center collects information on nuclear structure and nuclear cross-sections, maintains nuclear databases and makes use of modern information technology to disseminate the results. The data is kept in dedicated numerical libraries, which are periodically reevaluated and updated.