The Kreitman School of Advanced Graduate Studies Committee of the University Senate has decided to award the prestigious Post-Doctoral Kreitman scholarship to Dr. Christian Castagna. Dr. Castagna is conducting his post-doctoral research in the Reactor Physics Group at Ben-Gurion University under the supervision of Prof. Erez Gilad.
Christian’s postdoctoral research will address strategic issues related to Israel’s energy policy in the face of a complicated geopolitical situation and unique military and terror threats. The research will address the challenge of establishing a safe and secure nuclear power plant in a militarized hostile and unstable region. The reference threat scenario is of a nuclear power plant hit by a “bunker buster” guided bomb, its penetration into the shielded reactor building, and the detonation of its high-explosive warhead near the reactor core.
Christian will study this scenario by developing advanced computer simulations and performing high-fidelity nuclear fuel burnup simulations. These simulations will be used to develop a more general methodology for the evaluation of the damage to the reactor core and the potential subsequent radioactive emission to the atmosphere. This research is highly innovative and original and is of great interest to homeland security applications in Israel and abroad.
The research that Christian will engage in requires extensive and interdisciplinary knowledge of high-fidelity Monta Carlo nuclear chain reaction calculations, burnup and depletion physics and computations, and intensive parallel simulations using HPC machines. Christian’s academic background will significantly assist our group in this project and enable us to achieve better results and gain deeper insights into the problem.