Building a Future for Nuclear Engineering
Jevremovic, a native of Belgrade, Serbia, has worked in Japan and at Indiana's Purdue University before joining the University of Utah faculty in August 2009 to revitalize its nuclear engineering education and research program.
The university's TRIGA reactor Training, Research, Isotopes and General Atomics is among 13 of its type still operating at universities in the United States, Jevremovic says. It runs on a mixture of uranium-235 and uranium-238 fuel.
With concern over climate change due to emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of coal, oil and other fossil fuels, "there is now an overall renaissance in nuclear engineering, not just in the United States but in the world," despite the 1986 meltdown at the Soviet Union's Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Jevremovic says.
"We certainly have to consider the environment for our children," she adds. "The future is nuclear energy for many reasons. It's safe and proven technology. We have more than 40 years experience in operating nuclear power plants."
She says there is a "huge" need for training nuclear engineers because "40 percent of the current nuclear engineering force will retire in the next four years."
A nuclear reactor core contains long, cylindrical fuel rods packed together vertically in a fuel assembly. The simulation follows the movement of neutrons, which collide with uranium to cause a fission reaction. The simulations can show the density of neutrons in the reactor over space and time, and also can display fission reaction rates.
Jevremovic says reactor core simulations provide details about performance within a reactor, where the most intense fission reactions should be in the middle.
"We simulate everything now on a computer," Jevremovic says. "Computer technology has developed rapidly, and we can do calculations and simulations we could just dream of five
|Contact: Lee Siegel|
University of Utah