Is 'Proliferation-Proof Technology' an Oxymoron?



Date and Time

January 7, 2010 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


Reuben W. Hills Conference Room

FSI Contact

Justin C. Liszanckie

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' in indeed an (double) oxymoron - it is nevertheless important to recognize the role that probabilistic risk assessment can and should play in assessing the relative merits of proposed technologies.

Dr. Robert Rosner is a visiting professor at CISAC for 2009-2010.  He is the William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in the departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics at the University of Chicago.  Dr. Rosner recently stepped down as Director of Argonne National Laboratory, where he had also served as Chief Scientist.

Professor Rosner's research is mostly in the areas of plasma astrophysics and astrophysical fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics (including especially solar and stellar magnetic fields); high energy density physics; boundary mixing instabilities; combustion modeling; applications of stochastic differential equations and optimization problems; and inverse methods.

"I have continued research interest overlap with the DOE/ASCI Flash Center at Chicago (which I led for its first five years); this Center has been a pioneer in the development of computational astrophysics codes with broad applicability to other disciplines; and I have been closely involved in that Center's research activities in flame modeling and interfacial mixing. I have also been involved with a Wisconsin/Chicago/Princeton NSF-supported Physics Frontier Center focusing on problems lying at the boundary of astrophysics and laboratory plasma physics, mostly in areas related to magnetohydrodynamic instabilities in low Prandtl number fluids (such as liquid metals, or stellar interiors).

"In addition over the past 7+ years -- through my work at Argonne National Laboratory - I became heavily involved in issues related to science and technology policy and management, especially in areas related to energy, climate, and modeling and simulations, national security, as well as (via my chairmanship of the Department of Energy National Laboratory Directors' Council as well as my work with the Council on Competitiveness) with national policy issues related to STEM workforce development, nuclear and renewable energy technology development, and the role of national laboratories in scientific, technological, and industrial competitiveness, including the relationship between national laboratories, academia, and industry."


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