Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering Professor Mujid Kazimi has been awarded the 2011 Kuwait Prize in Applied Sciences by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS). The field of applied sciences selected for the 2011 award is nuclear power technology.
Kazimi, the Tokyo Electric Power Company Professor of Nuclear Engineering at MIT and director of MIT's Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (CANES), is recognized for his contributions to technologies for the nuclear fuel cycle and reactor safety. He was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering.
In his research on advanced nuclear fuel, Kazimi investigates alternative geometrical and materials designs of fuel, such as annular fuel with internal cooling and the use of ceramic silicon carbide instead of metallic zirconium alloys for fuel cladding. By increasing the fuel surface to volume ratio and using materials that are less reactive with water at high temperature, the economic and safety performance of the fuel is improved. Kazimi’s work in system analysis of the nuclear fuel cycle aims at understanding the implications of a closed fuel cycle compared with the open fuel cycle regarding spent fuel management economics and proliferation resistance. His research group has developed a nuclear energy system simulation model, CAFCA, that can be applied by policy analysts to assess the impact of future choices of the fuel cycle on the energy system.
“I am delighted to receive this well-established award, which to me implies recognition of the efforts of my research associates," Kazimi says. "It will give our group the impetus to amplify our efforts to identify technical and policy choices for the fuel cycle that promote safe application of nuclear technology in meeting the world’s demand for clean and economic energy."
The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science was established in 1976, and is funded by the Kuwaiti government as well as the private sector. The foundation’s goal is to promote scientific, technological and intellectual progress in Kuwait and across the region. The foundation awards annual prizes in five fields: Basic Sciences; Applied Sciences; Economics and Social Sciences; Arts and Letters; and Arabic and Islamic Scientific Heritage. The foundation also funds the Kuwait Center for Natural Resources and the Environment at MIT. The center, which was established in 2005, promotes collaborative research between researchers at MIT and Kuwaiti institutions.
Recipients of the 2011 awards will be honored at a celebration later this year under the auspices of His Highness the Emir of Kuwait.