Current Activities
Prof. John R. White

Previously, I used this page to give details about my teaching schedule, office hours, ongoing student projects and meeting times, and my research activities for the current semester. However, now that I am retired, these activities are no longer pertinent -- and the utility of this page is now somewhat questionable.

However, for the record, I want to state that retirement has been absolutely great so far -- certainly much less stressful than when working 10-12 hours every day for as long as I can remember!!! After my retirement from UMass-Lowell, my wife and I moved to central New Hampshire on a 10+ acre lot with plenty of adjacent conservation land, so now I spend most of my time with family, watching football and baseball when in season and, weather permiting, either working in the yard at home and/or at the lake, or hiking in the woods. In general, I love being outside, so I spend as much time as possible enjoying the great NH outdoors...

Current Projects:
When the weather does not cooperate or the winter cold sets in, I do have several other professional activities to keep me busy, as follows:

Updating the Website

As noted on the main page, I have not done anything with this website for many years. However, now that I have more free time, in early 2020 I decided to make an effort to update and enhance this website with a variety of educational and research-related resources that were generated over the last several years. This task will be an on-going activity until I am successful in making most of the "good stuff" from my 30+ years of teaching and research at UMass-Lowell available on this website. My hope is that some of this material will be useful for the next generation of students and nuclear professionals...

Development and Documentation of Serpent Models for the UMLRR

Much of my research-related work over my last 20-25 years at UMass-Lowell was associated with the modeling, operational support, and educational use of the UMass-Lowell 1 MW research reactor (UMLRR). In particular, over the years, the reactor physics models of the UMLRR core have evolved from relatively coarse 2-D deterministic models to very detailed 3-D Monte Carlo models of the core and surrounding geometry. Specifically, in the 2010-2011 time frame, a full MCNP model of the UMLRR was generated, and this tool, along with a 3-D few-group diffusion theory VENTURE model, have been the primary computational resources for use in all recent UMLRR physics analyses.

However, I have been interested for several years in adding the Serpent Monte Carlo code to the inventory of tools available for the analysis of the UMLRR -- but, while teaching three courses per semester, I could never find the time needed to undertake such a large task. This, of course, changed after retirement, so during the winter of 2018-2019 (actually Nov. 2018 to March 2019) I spent much of my free time developing and benchmarking a series of UMLRR core models within the Serpent code. This effort culminated in models for the initial LEU-fueled M-1-3 core that was used from mid-2000 to early 2002 when the fast neutron irradiator (FNI) was installed, the post-FNI M-2-5 core that was in use until around June 2015, the M-5-8 core that included the aluminum flux trap in location D5 as well as replacement of the two partial assemblies with full fuel elements, and finally, the current M-6-8 configuration that includes a new fresh fuel assembly for addded excess reactivity. The Serpent models for the M-1-3 and M-2-5 cores were benchmarked against MCNP (and some experimental data), but the M-5-8 and M-6-8 core configurations with significant burnup (up to 85 MWD) are only available in the Serpent code.

The only issue with the UMLRR Serpent work noted here was that nice weather returned to New England in Spring 2019 before I got a chance to document my work. Thus, the complete documentation of the development and benchmarking of the Serpent models for the UMLRR is a task that still needs to be done before any of this work can be useful to others. Hence, this is an important item that is still on my to-do list...

Life-Long Learning Opportunities

I have always been interested in many subjects but, with all the demands of a teaching and research career in the Nuclear Engineering field, there was never time to explore much beyond one's direct area of expertise. Now, with more free time available, I have decided to explore some interesting subject areas in more detail -- just for fun and to stay educationally challenged in retirement!!! In particular, during the winter of 2019-2020, I have decided to take an online course in introductory Quantum Mechanics. This subject is not very far removed from my speciality in Nuclear Reactor Physics, but it is an area that I never really fully understood -- so now I am looking a little deeper into the subject. This should be fun...

Last updated by Prof. John R. White (Oct. 2020)

Main | Current | Courses | Research | Vitae | Goodies