Nicholas Thompson

Nicholas Thompson
Los Alamos National Laboratory | LANL · Advanced Nuclear Technology Group

Ph.D. Nuclear Engineering and Science
Critical experiment design and operation at the National Criticality Experiments Research Center, operated by LANL

About

29
Publications
1,888
Reads
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46
Citations
Introduction
Nicholas Thompson currently works at the Advanced Nuclear Technology Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - present
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Working on identifying gaps in integral benchmarks and analyzing critical experiments for neutron clustering.
August 2012 - August 2017
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • Measured capture cross sections using a Lead Slowing-Down Spectrometer.
June 2010 - May 2011
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Position
  • Student
Description
  • Assisted with measurements and simulations demonstrating the feasibility of uranium and plutonium assay using a Lead Slowing-Down Spectrometer.
Education
August 2012 - August 2017
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Field of study
  • Nuclear Engineering and Science
August 2010 - December 2011
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Field of study
  • Nuclear Engineering
August 2007 - December 2011
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Field of study
  • Nuclear Engineering

Publications

Publications (29)
Article
Full-text available
The work presented in this paper focuses on the first 10 years (2011–2020) of radiation test object (RTO) operations at the National Criticality Experiments Research Center. RTOs are subcritical configurations of special nuclear material that are built by hand. These configurations are utilized for benchmark experiments, detector testing/characteri...
Article
Full-text available
Comet is a general-purpose, heavy-duty, vertical-lift assembly designed for flexibility in conducting a variety of critical experiments. It is currently located at the National Criticality Experiments Research Center (NCERC) in Nevada. In the past, Comet resided at Technical Area-18 in Los Alamos, New Mexico, as part of the Los Alamos Critical Expe...
Article
Full-text available
Kilowatt Reactor Using Stirling TechnologY (KRUSTY) was a prototype for the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Kilopower Program. KRUSTY has a highly enriched uranium–molybdenum alloy (with 7.65 wt% molybdenum) annular core reflected by beryllium oxide with an outer stainless steel shield. Five configurations from the experimental...
Article
Full-text available
Stochastic fluctuations of the neutron population within a nuclear reactor are typically prevented by operating the core at a sufficient power, since a deterministic (i.e., exactly predictable) behavior of the neutron population is required by automatic safety systems to detect unwanted power excursions. In order to characterize the reactor operati...
Preprint
Stochastic fluctuations of the neutron population within a nuclear reactor are typically prevented by operating the core at a sufficient power, since a deterministic behavior of the neutron population is required by automatic safety systems to detect unwanted power excursions. Recent works however pointed out that, under specific circumstances, non...
Article
Full-text available
The National Criticality Experiments Research Center (NCERC) located at the Device Assembly Facility (DAF) at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) and operated by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is home to four critical assemblies which are used to support of range of missions, including nuclear criticality safety and nuclear nonprolifera...
Article
Full-text available
A new series of subcritical measurements has been conducted at the zero-power Walthousen Reactor Critical Facility (RCF) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) using a ³He neutron multiplicity detector. The Critical and Subcritical 0-Power Experiment at Rensselaer (CaSPER) campaign establishes a protocol for advanced subcritical neutron multipli...
Article
A new array of four Deuterated Benzene (C6D6) detectors has been installed at the Gaerttner Linear Accelerator Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for the purpose of measuring neutron capture cross sections in the keV region. Measurements were performed on samples of Ta181 in the unresolved resonance region (URR) using a filtered-beam techni...
Article
Full-text available
A new array of C6D6 detectors installed at the RPI LINAC Center has enabled the capability to measure neutron capture cross sections above the 847 keV inelastic scattering threshold of 56Fe through the use of digital post-processing filters and pulse-integral discriminators, without sacrificing the statistical quality of data at lower incident neut...
Technical Report
Full-text available
America’s nuclear plants are at a crossroads. Despite the impressive 30-year record of safe, reliable, and cost-competitive performance of the existing nuclear fleet, these U.S. nuclear power plants are being buffeted by a combination of electricity markets focused on short-term spot prices, historically-low fossil fuel prices, slack electricity de...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Nuclear power plants provide a number of public benefits, including carbon emission-free, reliable, dispatchable electricity, and economic benefits for the nation and the regions in which they are located. Without nuclear power: -Replacement power will result in higher prices for less reliable electricity. -U.S. economic and job growth would be n...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
On 3 August, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Clean Power Plan (CPP) Final Rule. This rule has been anticipated for multiple years and follows the Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule, which was initially released on 18 June 2014. The Clean Power Plan sets limits on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing st...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This toolkit outlines a variety of policy pathways to support the current nuclear fleet (Figure 1, page 2) and prevent early retirement. State policymakers should determine which, if any, of these methods are the best fit for their policy, environmental, energy, and economic goals. Each state faces a different set of circumstances regarding nuclear...
Article
Full-text available
The Gaerttner LINAC Center at RPI uses a 60 MeV electron linear accelerator to produce short pulses of neutrons with duration of 5-5000 ns. The main research thrust at the Center is nuclear data for nuclear reactors and criticality safety applications. The Center includes several setups for time-of-flight measurements including neutron transmission...
Conference Paper
Few experimental measurements of the (n,γ) cross section exist for iron above the first inelastic state of 56Fe at 847 keV. Because capture measurements rely on the detection of prompt photon cascades emitted by the de-excitation of the compound nucleus, it is challenging to separate the capture signal from photons generated in inelastic scattering...
Article
Full-text available
The use of a lead slowing-down spectrometer (LSDS) is considered as a possible option for nondestructive assay of fissile material of used nuclear fuel. The primary objective is to quantify fissile isotopes, particularly 239Pu and 235U, via a direct measurement distinguishing them through their characteristic fission spectra in the LSDS. In this pa...
Article
Full-text available
The use of a Lead Slowing-Down Spectrometer (LSDS) is considered as a possible option for non-destructive assay of fissile material in used nuclear fuel. The primary objective is to quantify the 239Pu and 235U fissile content via a direct measurement distinguishing them through their characteristic fission spectra in the LSDS. Threshold fission cha...

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Projects

Project (1)
Project
The goal is to create a set of nuclear data benchmarks based on Capture Cross Section Measurements with the RPI Lead Slowing Down Spectrometer, and test this against current libraries to see where improvements in nuclear data can be made.