Project Info

Computational Analysis of Additively Manufactured Space Nuclear Reactor Shielding

Jeffrey King

Project Goals and Description:

Nuclear reactors emit ionizing radiation that can be harmful to people and electronic equipment. Shielding materials that attenuate this radiation can significantly increase the size and mass of nuclear-powered spacecraft. Creating shielding materials that are viable for additive manufacturing processes may allow the production of customizable shield geometries that can reduce the size and mass of shielding materials needed to meet the spacecraft dose requirements.  This project will use Monte Carlo methods to evaluate the effectiveness of proposed space reactor shielding materials based on composition and geometry.

More Information:

Grand Challenge: Not applicable.
Craft, A.E., King, J.C., “Radiation Shielding Options for a Nuclear Reactor Power System Landed on the Lunar Surface,” Nuclear Technology, 2010, vol. 172, pp. 255-272, doi: 10.13182/NT10-A10934. Craft, A.E., Silver, I.J., Clark, C.M., Howe, S.D., King, J.C., “Advanced shield development for a fission surface power system for the lunar surface,” Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part G: Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 2011, vol. 225, no. 2, pp. 204-212, doi: 10.1243/09544100JAERO758. King, J.C., Mencarini, L.d.H., “Shielding Analysis for a Moderated Low-Enriched Uranium Fueled Kilopower Reactor,” Nuclear Technology, 2021, doi: 10.1080/00295450.2021.2004870

Primary Contacts:

Dr. King (

Student Preparation


The selected student should have basic Python coding skills and be able to work in the Linux-based environment, along with an interest in physics and nuclear energy.




Improved Python coding ability, an introduction to basic nuclear physics/nuclear reactor analysis, and familiarity with one or two of the major Monte Carlo particle transport codes used in the nuclear industry.


The student will join the King Research Group and will interact with Dr. King and the other students in Group on a weekly basis.


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