2/1/2010 Colloquium - Robert Ronser
University of Chicago
Title: Is 'proliferation-proof technology' a double oxymoron?
Date: Feb 1, 2010
Location: 3105 Etcheverry Hall
I will provide an overview of current ideas for devising a nuclear fuel cycle that minimizes proliferation risks, ranging from alternatives to the current method of spent fuel reprocessing to novel reactor designs. While the ultimate conclusion should not be a surprise - 'proliferation-proof technology' is indeed an (double) oxymoron - it is nevertheless important to ask if probabilistic risk assessment might play a role in assessing the relative merits of proposed technologies - and if not, what the alternatives are.
Robert Rosner is the William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in the departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and of Physics at the University of Chicago, as well as in the Enrico Fermi Institute; and currently on sabbatical at Stanford. At Chicago since 1987, he also served as chief scientist, associate lab director, and laboratory director of Argonne National Laboratory (2002-9). His degrees are all in physics (BA, Brandeis University; PhD, Harvard University). Most of his scientific work has been related to astrophysical and laboratory fluid dynamics and plasma physics problems, as well as in applied mathematics and computational physics. Much of his current basic research work is focused on turbulent mixing in nonlinear Rayleigh-Taylor, Kelvin-Helmholtz, and other interface mixing flows and transient MHD processes. More generally, he has been involved in the development of modern high-performance computer simulation tools, with a particular interest in complex physical systems; and has been increasingly involved in energy technologies and in the public policy issues that relate to the development and deployment of various energy technologies.