Marlene Bencomo will be receiving her M.S. degree in nuclear engineering from Texas A&M University this May. She worked with Dr. Sunil Chirayath to do a parametric study of molybdenum-99 production using a sub-critical, low-enriched uranium (LEU) assembly design proposed by Niowave, Inc. While molybdenum-99 has been produced using highly-enriched uranium (HEU), there is an international interest to produce this isotope using LEU due to the nuclear proliferation concerns of HEU. Niowave, Inc. is a facility that has plans to produce molybdenum-99 in the United States. Bencomo’s study provides computational analysis of their proposed LEU assembly design to determine the moderator and LEU enrichment that would yield the optimal production of molybdenum-99.
Bencomo earned her B.S. degree in nuclear engineering from the University of New Mexico in 2014. She successfully defended her master’s thesis in March, and after graduation she will be taking a research position with a U.S. national laboratory.
For more information on Marlene and her research, visit her profile page.