Julia Eigenbrodt will be graduating with her Ph.D. degree in nuclear engineering this May. She worked with Dr. William Charlton to develop a methodology employing Passive Neutron Albedo Reactivity (PNAR) and passive spectral photon measurements to measure spent nuclear fuel. PNAR was used for measurements of spent nuclear fuel in Japan as well as fresh fuel pins at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and photon measurements were performed on a wide range of spent nuclear fuel pins at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to determine which photon signatures are visible in different sets of fuel.
Eigenbrodt worked closely with researchers at LANL beginning in 2009 as part of the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI) program. A key objective of international safeguards is the timely detection of the diversion nuclear from peaceful uses of nuclear energy to weapons production. This methodology could be employed as a means of accurately and reliably measuring spent nuclear fuel to verify reactor operating parameters and to detect the diversion of significant quantities of nuclear fuel from reactors or spent nuclear fuel storage facilities.
Eigenbrodt earned a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M University in 2010. She defended her dissertation in November of 2015 and is currently employed as a nuclear engineer doing core design and physics support at the FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company in Ohio.
For more information on Eigenbrodt’s research, visit her profile page.