PhD scholarship: Computational Prediction of Nuclear Fission Products Behavior in a Molten Salt Reactor – DTU Chemistry

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PhD scholarship: Computational Prediction of Nuclear Fission Products Behavior in a Molten Salt Reactor – DTU Chemistry
Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Job Description

A 3-year PhD scholarship concerned with the use of computer simulation for predicting fission products (FP) behavior – such as solubility – in a Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) is available at DTU Chemistry under the supervision of Professor Klaus Braagaard Møller [1]. The project will be carried out in close collaboration with the Copenhagen-based MSR-developer company Seaborg Technologies [2].
The relevance of nuclear power for the European and global energy challenge was recently affirmed in the EU taxonomy for sustainable activities, which applies from January 2023 [3]. Amongst the modern nuclear reactor designs proposed for the advent of clean, safe, and peaceful nuclear technology, the MSR technology holds the promise of generating cheaper-than-coal, stable and carbon-neutral energy in a modular and scalable fashion.
In the SolveMSR project – funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark – we will work towards creating a computational framework for predicting FP behavior in the fuel salt matrix of MSRs. We will benchmark the framework against experimental data. Our approach consists in coupling ab-initio quantum and classical molecular dynamics (MD) modelling techniques with x-ray spectroscopic structural analysis and experimental retention data, to resolve the solvation parameters of the fission products most hazardous for both public safety and power plant operations, in a molten fluoride solvent. 
A schematic representation of the steps and interfaces in SolveMSR. 
In the SolveMSR project, we will develop a structural-thermodynamic model for contaminants in molten alkali halides and apply this model to predict the retention of selected FPs elements within the salt composition used by Seaborg Technologies. We will make use of thermodynamic modelling (quasi-chemical model) and well-established atomistic simulations suites as the Vienna ab-initio simulation package (VASP), the Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS), and the Polarizable Ion Model (PIM) code The impact of SolveMSR is improved neutron reactor performance, and better nuclear fuel cycle back-end strategies (waste handling and processing).
[1] www.kemi.dtu.dk/kbmo
[2] https://www.seaborg.com/  
[3] European Commission, “EU taxonomy for sustainable activities”, 2022. [Online]. 
Available: https://finance.ec.europa.eu/sustainable-finance/tools-and-standards/eu-taxonomy-sustainable-activities_en . 
Responsibilities and qualifications 
As a PhD student working in the SolveMSR project, you will be involved with both theoretical and practical methodological developments, in accordance with the research and tools described above. You will be splitting your time between DTU Chemistry and Seaborg Technologies, which is a dynamic, young company located ca. 10 km from DTU. You must have an interest and a strong background in theoretical and computational chemistry/chemical engineering, materials science, or physics, preferably experience in high-performance computing with large software packages, and a clear motivation for conducting exciting work at the forefront of modern energy sources research towards a sustainable future in a thriving academic environment in the greater Copenhagen area. 
Apart from the scientific project, the PhD program also consists of course work corresponding to 30 ECTS, teaching and dissemination activities corresponding to approximately 3 months, and external research stay of 3-6 months visiting our collaborators at cutting-edge research centers in Europe.
To apply for the present position, you must have obtained a 2-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a 2-year master's degree.
The ideal candidate should be able to work independently and be confident in both written and spoken English. In addition, the applicant should be ambitious and strive towards scientific excellence.
Approval and Enrolment 
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see DTU's rules for the PhD education . 
We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.
DTU Chemistry is a department with a high level of research activities, a focus on high-impact dissemination of our research, and a department with a great emphasis on educating the future generation of chemists and chemical engineers.
Salary and appointment terms 
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.
You can read more about career paths at DTU here .
Further information 
Further information may be obtained from Prof. Klaus Braagaard Møller (E-mail: [email protected]  , Phone: +45 4525 2461).
You can read more about DTU Chemistry  at www.kemi.dtu.dk/english .  
If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark . Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar ” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU. 
Application procedure  
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 29 April 2024 (23:59 Danish time). To apply, please open the link "Apply now", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae 
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

In our lab, we strive to attract and develop a heterogeneous group of talented people through scientific excellence, attentive teaching, as well as careful and supporting mentoring, all with an appreciation of diversity, equality, and inclusion at its core.
Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission lives on today. DTU has 13,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.


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Job Info
  • Job Identification 3426
  • Job Category Phd
  • Posting Date 04/15/2024, 01:07 AM
  • Apply Before 04/29/2024, 05:59 PM
  • Locations Kemitorvet, Kgs. Lyngby, 2800, DK



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    Kemitorvet, Kgs. Lyngby, 2800, DK

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