Nuclear Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



The objective of this thesis is to create a program to quickly estimate the radioactivity and decay of experiments conducted inside of the Annular Core Research Reactor (ACRR) at Sandia National Laboratories and eliminate the need for users to write code. This estimation is achieved by using MCNP to model the neutron fluxes in the reactors central cavity where experiments are conducted using one of the four possible neutron spectra available in the ACRR. The desired neutron spectrum, experiment material composition, and reactor power level are then input into CINDER2008 burnup code to obtain activation and decay information for every isotope generated. DREAD creates all of the files required for CINDER2008 through user selected inputs in a graphical user interface and executes the program for the user and displays the resulting estimation for dose rate at various distances. The DREAD program was validated by weighing and measuring various experiments in the different spectra and then collecting dose rate information after they were irradiated and comparing it with the dose rates that DREAD predicted. The program provides results with an average of 17% higher estimates than the actual values and takes seconds to execute.


Annular Core Research Reactor, Nuclear Engineering, Activation, Burnup, DREAD, Modeling


Sandia National Laboratories

Document Type




Degree Name

Nuclear Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Nuclear Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Cooper, Gary

Second Committee Member

Knief, Ronald

Third Committee Member

De Oliviera, Cassiano Ricardo Endres