Nuclear Science User Facilities 26 Yong Yang Users Organization: Building continuity to secure the NSUF’s future In the evolution of any organization, institutional memory and continuity are key to long- term success.As the Nuclear Science User Facilities (NSUF) approaches its tenth anniversary, some of the people who were “present at the creation” in support roles have become the leaders. Now an associate professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Florida, Dr.YongYang was a postdoctoral fellow of Dr.ToddAllen at the University ofWisconsin in 2008 when he participated in theAdvancedTest Reactor (ATR) NSUF pilot experiment. After 40 years of almost exclusive use by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Department of Energy in 2007 had designatedATR and associated post-irradiation examination facilities as a National Scientific User Facility, allowing broader access to nuclear energy researchers. “It gave universities access to a lot of equipment and opened up partnership opportunities,” said Allen, the first ATR NSUF director.As a member of Allen’s team,Yang oversaw the assembly of capsules for irradiation in ATR, labeling them and making sure they got to Idaho National Laboratory safely and on time. “He deserves a lot of credit for the work he did on the first experiment, getting it done,”Allen said. As a graduate student,Yang had studied metal matrix composite materials for car engines. His interest in nuclear energy started after graduation. “If you look at the energy industry, nuclear is the future,” he said. His research focus shifted to radiation damage occurring in light water reactor core structural components. Yang was one of the 68 people – students, university faculty, and industry representatives – to attend the first weeklong ATR NSUF summer sessions, which eventually became known as Users Week. It featured presentations by 19 technical experts and covered topics such as irradiation damage mechanisms, degradation of reactor materials, light water reactor and gas reactor fuels, and non-destructive evaluation. “I saw a lot of great technical presentations,”Yang said. “It covered a whole spectrum of new, innovative studies.” In 2009,Yang’s proposal for post-irradiation examination of ceramics for stability in advanced fuel applications was one of four NSUF experiments to be selected. Other projects have included: • characterization on Bor-60 neutron irradiated austenitic stainless steels and cast stainless steel, • characterization of neutron irradiated NF709 stainless steel using atom probe tomography, • evaluation of ferrite decomposition in irradiated and aged duplex cast stainless steels, • low temperature Fe-ion irradiation of 15-15Ti steel in different thermo- mechanical states, and • synergistic effects of thermal aging and neutron irradiation in 304L welds.