The Department of Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences (NERS) is the top-rated nuclear engineering in the country, researching sustainable energy, nuclear security and defense, plasmas for water treatment, and more. NERS’s vision is to improve society through the advancement of nuclear, radiological, and plasma sciences and technologies.
NERS Labs, Facilities, and Institutes in the MMPP:
Fastest Path to Zero Initiative
The Fastest Path to Zero Initiative is a cross-campus team of interdisciplinary experts to tackle difficult research questions about how policymakers, researchers, and communities can work together to meet ambitious climate goals in Michigan and across the nation. The Institute’s founding director, Prof. Todd Allen, is also the chair of NERS.
Consortium for Monitoring, Technology, & Verification (MTV)
Applied Nuclear Science Instrumentation Laboratory
Prof. Igor Jovanovich’s Applied Nuclear Science Instrumentation Laboratory features approximately 1000 sq ft of quality space and supports the development of advanced instrumentation for a wide range of projects. Some examples of current research include the development of novel neutron and antineutrino detectors and detection methodologies for applications in nuclear security, nonproliferation, nuclear power, and fundamental scientific research.
Glenn F. Knoll Nuclear Measurements Laboratory
This lab commemorates a leader in the field of nuclear measurements and a beloved former NERS professor and department chair. The lab hosts two NERS labs: Prof. Zhong He’s Position-Sensing Semiconductor Radiation Detector Laboratory and Prof. David Wehe’s Radiation Imaging Laboratory, as well as a number of faculty/staff offices and graduate students’ desks.
High-Resolution TH Imaging Laboratory
This lab develops and applies measurement techniques for quantitative imaging of single-phase and multiphase flows in complex geometries and high-pressure systems. In the lab, Prof. Annalisa Manera and Victor Petrov study how steam and water flow at high pressure through complex reactor components such as fuel bundles. Their work explores ways to improve the safety and economics of nuclear reactors.
Irradiated Materials Testing Complex (IMTL)
The Irradiated Materials Testing Laboratory provides the capability to conduct high-temperature corrosion and stress corrosion cracking of neutron-irradiated materials and to characterize the fracture surfaces after failure. The laboratory consists of a high-temperature autoclave, circulating water loop, load frame, and servo motor for conducting constant extension rate tensile (CERT) and crack growth rate (CRG) tests in subcritical or supercritical water up to 600°C.
Nuclear Plant Simulator Laboratory
This lab houses the Virtual Ford Nuclear Reactor, developed by Prof. Brendan Kochunas (NuRAM Group) to simulate the original reactor, which was the centerpiece of the Phoenix Project until it was decommissioned in 2003. This platform, developed with support from the Center for Academic Innovation, provides a unique digital infrastructure for research into developing digital twin and VR technology for nuclear engineering applications. The lab also features a Generic Pressurized Water Reactor Simulator, which represents the entire instrumentation and control (I&C) system of a three-loop Westinghouse PWR plant with all its gauges, knobs, recorders, and control systems.
PCHT Test Facility
The Post-CHF (Critical Heat Flux) Heat Transfer (PCHT) Test Facility is a module of Prof. Xiaodong Sun’s Thermal Hydraulics Laboratory. This lab is producing new data and improving current models for post-CHF flow regimes during light water reactor loss-of-coolant accident scenarios.