Melis Yildiz Sakarya graduated from Texas A&M University with an M.S. in nuclear engineering with a nuclear nonproliferation specialization in December 2023. Under the guidance of NSSPI Director Dr. Sunil Chirayath, she focused on assessing the proliferation resistance of multi-recycled, re-enriched, reprocessed uranium fuel discharged from a water-cooled, water-moderated energetic reactor (VVER). Her research involved estimating the growth in the desired amount of even-numbered uranium and plutonium isotopes, particularly 236U and 238Pu, in order to render the spent nuclear fuel less attainable for military purposes. Throughout her academic journey, Melis had the privilege of collaborating with Dr. Saito, a professor emeritus, and the former department head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, also the former Director of the Academy for Global Nuclear Safety and Security. She visited numerous national labs and IAEA facilities, where she had the opportunity to meet with prominent figures in the nuclear field. During her time at Texas A&M University, Melis was able to present her master’s research at the 2023 INMM/ESARDA Joint Annual Meeting in Vienna and the 2023 Department of Nuclear Engineering Advisory Council Spring Dinner at TAMU, where both of her posters were selected as winners. In recognition of her achievements, Yildiz Sakarya was nominated for the 2023 College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Awards. Before joining NSSPI, Yildiz Sakarya graduated from Hacettepe University in Turkiye with a B.S. in Nuclear Energy Engineering and awarded a scholarship from Turkish Government to study abroad. After graduating she will continue to pursue her Ph.D. at Texas A&M Nuclear Engineering Department.rn
- M. Yildiz Sakarya, "Proliferation Resistance Analysis of Multiple Recycling of Re-enriched Reprocessed Uranium Fuel in Commercial Light Water Reactors", M.S. Thesis, Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2023).
- M. Yildiz Sakarya and S.S. Chirayath, "Proliferation Resistance Analysis of Multiple Recycling of Re-enriched Reprocessed Uranium Fuel in Commercial Light Water Reactors", INMM/ESARDA Joint Annual Meeting, 22-26 May 2023, Vienna, Austria.