Department of Physics and Astronomy

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 54,000 students, more than 7,500 employees and a turnover of around SEK 8 billion.

Postdoctoral position in Fuel and Core Design for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs)

The research conducted at the Department of Physics and Astronomy encompasses a wide range of physics topics, distributed over ten divisions. The department is located in the Ångström laboratory and employs nearly 400 people, 125 of whom are doctoral students. It offers a broad physics curriculum to undergraduate and graduate students, participation in nationally and internationally leading projects for researchers, and opportunities for partnership with industry and various outreach activities.

The project will be performed with Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB as project lead. The company is part of the Westinghouse Electric Company, a global-leading supplier of safe and innovative nuclear technology. Westinghouse is present in 21 countries and has about 19,000 employees who work with everything in nuclear power; from research and development, new build, fuel production, service and maintenance to decommissioning when the reactors have reached their end of life. About 50 percent of all reactors in the world are based on Westinghouse technology.

Westinghouse Sweden has approximately 900 employees. Primary operations are in Västerås, which encompass a fuel factory with an annual production of about 600 tons of uranium dioxide. The fuel factory produces fuel for PWR, BWR and VVER reactors and supplies approximately 1/3 of the nuclear fuel used in Europe. Westinghouse Sweden has a long history of nuclear technology, originating from ASEA Atom in the 1960s, which built 11 BWR-nuclear reactors in the Nordic region.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University together with Westinghouse invite applications for a two years Post-doctoral position in fuel and core design for small modular reactor (SMR) concepts.

Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at Uppsala University

The position relates to projects within the Swedish competence centre ANItA (Academic-industrial Nuclear technology Initiative to Achieve a sustainable energy future), which integrates Swedish technical and nontechnical expertise of Uppsala University, Chalmers, KTH, Vattenfall, Uniper, Fortum, Westinghouse, Studsvik Nuclear and the Swedish Energy Agency in nuclear technology and engineering.

Collaborative research, development, and education of the centre aim to create a Swedish knowledge and competence base needed for the introduction of novel nuclear power technologies such as Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) and provide relevant information, in particular, to policymakers for timely decisions on the future Swedish energy generation mix.

Within the ANItA, the leading universities in Sweden collaborate with leading Nordic companies in the nuclear energy sector. This offers doctoral students and postdocs a strong research environment, a unique industrial application potential, and excellent opportunities for international partnerships.

Duties and project description
The project concerns the development of fuel and core design solutions for selected SMR concepts based on existing or modified Light Water Reactor (LWR) fuel. A fundamental understanding of the characteristics of SMR core concepts shall be developed. Core design strategies that maximize fuel economy and fuel operation efficiency shall be explored. As already indicated in several SMR concepts currently under development, the exclusion of soluble boron as possible reactivity control mechanism is expected to lead to significantly different core physics conditions that will require novel solutions. In the case of smaller cores, even the identification and design of optimal reflector components will be required.

Since SMR core conditions (core sizes, fuel heights, core power and flow densities, operating pressure, fuel cycle lengths, fuel burnups, etc.) differ from the conditions in today’s large plants, further development are needed to ensure a technically and economically optimal fuel assembly design.

The postdoc will use existing or modified computational tools within Westinghouse for fuel and core design. Collaboration with subject matter experts will be essential for the project

A Ph.D. degree in physics or other relevant field. Proficiency in English. The candidate is expected to have a solid background in reactor physics or related disciplines (core neutron physics, thermal-hydraulics, thermal-mechanics, etc.).

Additional qualifications
Prior experience in core or fuel design and core simulator tools for pressurized water reactors (PWRs) or boiling water reactors (BWRs) is highly desired. Specific knowledge of SMRs and their core characteristics would be very beneficial but is not a requirement for the position.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position of 2 years according to central collective agreement. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date 2023-03-01 or as agreed. Placement: Västerås

The application should be written in English and include:

  • Letter of motivation, with a short description of your research interests and why you feel you are a good match for the project (max two pages, ideally one).
  • CV, including a description of relevant skills and experiences and a complete publication list.
  • Copy of degree diploma and other official transcripts.
  • Contact information for references, which can support your application if contacted. Include a short description of how these individuals are professionally related to you.

Uppsala University and Westinghouse strive to be inclusive workplaces that promote equal opportunities and attract qualified candidates who can contribute to the University’s and Company’s excellence and diversity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community and from people of all backgrounds. Sweden has a generous welfare system that includes paid parental leave, affordable daycare, and practically free medical care.

For further information about the position, please contact: Uffe Bergmann, Henrik Sjöstrand

Please submit your application by 6 mars 2023, UFV-PA 2023/252.

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Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2023-03-01
Salary Fixed salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2023/252
Union representative
  • Seko Universitetsklubben,
  • ST/TCO,
  • Saco-rådet,
Published 23.Jan.2023
Last application date 06.Mar.2023 11:59 PM CET

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