FACILITY DIRECTOR, UC DAVIS MCCLELLAN NUCLEAR RESEARCH CENTER
The McClellan Nuclear Research Center (MNRC) is home to a 2.0 MegaWatt Training Research Isotope built by General Atomic (TRIGA) nuclear reactor. The reactor is the newest research reactor in the United States and is the third most powerful (tie) university operated research reactor in the country. The facility was originally built by the US Air Force to conduct neutron radiography on airplanes and is located 10 miles north of downtown Sacramento. The operation of a research reactor in the 21st century is fraught with challenges as the reactors must operate under strict federal guidelines and public scrutiny. At the same time the facility must meet the short term needs and long term vision of the University. Discussed topics will include the supply of new nuclear fuel, disposing of spent nuclear fuel, relicensing the reactor, aging workforce, aging equipment, and planning for eventual decommissioning. Lastly, potential research and educational opportunities available to UC Berkeley nuclear engineering students at the MNRC will be discussed.
Dr. Wesley Frey is a California native who graduated from the UC Berkeley nuclear engineering program with a BS in 2001. After his undergraduate education, Dr. Frey completed his PhD at Oregon State University. Dr. Frey remained at Oregon State University for a number of years after graduating as a faculty instructor in radiation health physics. After this he returned to California to work as a health physicist at the Stanford Linear Accelerator to develop measurement methodologies to release metals from areas where neutrons had been present, in spite of the DOE metal recycling moratorium. Upon leaving Stanford he joined the UC Davis McClellan Nuclear Research Center as the Radiation Safety Officer and has since assumed the role of facility director. His educational interests include the teaching of health physics and beginning a reactor operator training program for university students. His research interests include radioactive isotope production, neutron activation analysis, and radiological measurements made for decommissioning and decontamination purposes. Dr. Frey is a board certified health physicist.