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Latest Publications
Recent Events
6/10/2020
UNM-ISNPS makes a strong presence at national meeting
12/14/2019
Masters Graduation - Raymond Fasano
8/31/2019
Forbes.com writes about ISNPS's SLIMM and VSLLIM reactor concepts
8/6/2019
ISNPS research highlighted at Cybersecurity Research Spotlight Forum
Contact
Physical Location:
Ferris Engineering Center
Room 1120

Mailing Address:
Institute for Space & Nuclear Power Studies
MSC01-1120
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Phone: 505.277.5442
Fax: 505.277.5433

Online: Contact Form

Welcome to the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies

Welcome to the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies (ISNPS). ISNPS was founded in 1984 as a research and development organization within UNM's School of Engineering with a focus on space power and propulsion technologies and related fields. ISNPS offers educational and professional training and conducts research in many fields of space nuclear power and space systems technology in cooperation with UNM's Department of Nuclear Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical and Biological Engineering.


Recent News


Founding Director

Dr. El-Genk

Mohamed El-Genk, Distinguished and Regents' Professor of Nuclear, Mechanical and Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Founding Director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies has been named the recipient of the 2010 Donald Q. Kern Memorial Award by the Transport and Energy Process Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. This award given in honor of Donald Q. Kern, a pioneer in process heat transfer, is one of the most prestigious in the world in recognizing significant contributions to the fields of applied heat transfer or energy conversion or in the translation of research results into useful technological applications. Dr. El-Genk joined the recognized leaders in the field of heat transfer who received this award since 1974.

He has also been named named the recipient of the American Nuclear Society thermal-hydraulics Technical Achievement Award for 2015. The award is in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the understanding of terrestrial and space reactor thermal hydraulics phenomena and for his impact on the thermal hydraulics community as a researcher, educator, and leader.

Dr. El-Genk was named the recipient of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers 2017 Heat Transfer Memorial Award for his outstanding contributions to boiling enhancement; immersion cooling of electronics; forced, natural, and combined convection in rod bundles; heat pipes and thermosyphons; impinging and swirling jets heat transfer; thermal-hydraulics of nuclear reactors; and thermal management of space nuclear power systems.

Dr. El-Genk is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety, and an associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a member of the Assembly of the International Heat Transfer Conference (IHTC), the Organizing, Steering and U.S. Scientific committees of the 2010 14th IHTC, and the Scientific Committee of the International Center for Heat and Mass Transfer.


Third Progress Report for UNM-ISNPS/SNL DOE-NEUP Collaboration on Cybersecurity for Nuclear Plant Instrumentation and Control Systems

UNM-ISNPS in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories has released the latest progress report on the effort to develop a Nuclear Instrumentation and Control Simulation (NICSim) platform to aid in investigating the cybersecurity of nuclear power plant instrumentation and control systems. This work is supported by a multi-year DOE Nuclear Engineering University Program grant. This progress report, titled Emulated Programmable Logic Controllers for the Protection and Safety Monitoring and Operation I&C Systems in a Representative PWR Plant for Cybersecurity Applications presents the results of the research effort developing an emulated Instrumentation and Control (I&C) system for the physics-based PWR model in the NICSim platform, including the Programable Logic Controllers (PLCs) in the operation and safety I&C systems. The report details the functional programing and testing for the different PLCs when coupled to the developed PWR plant model.


UNM-ISNPS Research Publish Report of Pump Design Effort for Extended Length Test Assembly for Lead Coolant (ELTA-CL) for Planned Versatile Test Reactor

UNM-ISNPS has been working in a team lead by Los Alamos National Laboratory on investigating pumping options for circulating molten lead in the Extended Length Test Assembly for Lead Coolant (ELTA-CL) under conceptual development for the planned Versatile Test Reactor (VTR). The ELTA-CL will support the development of lead-cooled fast reactors by allowing corrosion testing of candidate materials in the VTR core irradiation environment, and by demonstrating potential fuel concepts and instrumentation options. This work is supported by a DOE grant from Battelle Energy Alliance. The results of this effort are published in Design Optimization and Performance of Pumping Options for VTR Extended Length Test Assembly for Lead Coolant (ELTA-CL) and Design Optimization and Performance of Pumping Options for VTR Extended Length Test Assembly for Lead Coolant (ELTA-CL)-Update. These reports describe the research effort to investigate four pumping options for circulating molten lead in the ELTA-CL: Annular Linear Induction Pump (ALIP), Direct Current Electromagnetic Pump (DC EMP), gas-lift pumping, and axial-centrifugal flow mechanical pump. Detailed are the extensive design and performance analyses conducted by UNM-ISNPS researches to determine the ability of each pumping option to meet desired ELTA-CL requirments.


Second Progress Report for UNM-ISNPS/SNL DOE-NEUP Collaboration on Cybersecurity for Nuclear Plant Instrumentation and Control Systems

UNM-ISNPS in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories has released the latest progress report on the effort to develop a Nuclear Instrumentation and Control Simulation (NICSim) platform to aid in investigating the cybersecurity of nuclear power plant instrumentation and control systems. This work is supported by a multi-year DOE Nuclear Engineering University Program grant. This progress report, titled A Physics based, Dynamic Model of a Pressurized Water Reactor Plant with Programmable Logic Controllers for Cybersecurity Applications presents the results of the research effort developing a physics based PWR plant model within Matlab Simulink framework to be coupled with the emulated PLCs in the representative I&C system architecture in the NICSim platform. The report details the physics-based component models of the nuclear reactor, pressurizer, steam generator, reactor coolant pump, and primary loop, as well their validation testing and sample transient results.


UNM's Nuclear Engineering department and Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies makes a strong presence at national meeting

Two graduate students, Andrew Hahn and Ragai Altamimi, Research Assistant Professor Timothy Schriener, and Distinguished and Regents' Professor gave talks on the results of ongoing research on the development of a nuclear power plants Cyber Security platform at a dedicated technical session entitled, "Cyber Security for Nuclear Power Installation-II," at the first virtual national meeting of the American Nuclear Society this week, 8-11 June, 2020. The Nuclear Instrumentation and Control Simulation (NICSim) Platform for investigating cybersecurity risks to nuclear power plants, is being developed in collaboration with Dr. Christopher Lamb and his colleagues at Sandia National Laboratories. This effort is funded by a 3-year award from DOE Nuclear Engineering University Program (NEUP) to the UNM Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies.

1. Nuclear Instrumentation and Control Simulation (NICSim) Platform for Investigating Cybersecurity Risks

2. Programmable Logic Controller of a Pressurized Water Reactor Core Protection Calculator

3. Pressurizer Model and PLCs for Investigation of Cybersecurity of PWR Plants

4. Steam Generator Model and Controller for Cybersecurity Analyses of Digital I&C Systems in PWR Plants

( ANS presentation recording-may need ANS login).


Masters Graduation - Raymond Fasano

On December 14 2019, Ray Fasano graduated with a Master of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering at the University of New Mexico. His advisor was Dr. Mohamed S. El-Genk, Distinguished and Regents' Professor of Nuclear, Mechanical, and Chemical and Biological Engineering and Founding Director of the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies (ISNPS). Ray worked on the NicSim NEUP project as a member of the ISNPS and as a graduate intern at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). He worked closely with technical groups at SNL and UNM to ensure a productive collaboration. The focus of Ray's research focused on cybersecurity for nuclear power plants by developing an emulation platform for a pressurized water reactor. He also developed a PLC emulation methodology to provide a technical basis for using emulated PLCs in the NicSim platform. Upon graduating Ray will become a full-time member of the technical staff at SNL.


Research Team

The ISNPS Group

The ISNPS group picture taken in December of 2019 outside of Ferris Engineering Building. From left to right, Front: Dr. Timothy Schriener, Raymond Fasano, Prof. Mohamed El-Genk, Andrew Hahn, Ragai, Altimimi, Mahyar Pourghasemi. To view each person individually, you may view the faculty and student indices.

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