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Working as a Nuclear Staff Engineer, Fred Rosse participated in developing analysis methods that had not been previously applied throughout the electric power industry. Safety analysis work for large nuclear generation systems involves transient thermal-hydraulic evaluations which needed to be developed, addressing postulated events such as earthquakes, flooding, ruptured pipes, etc. Safety systems are developed and designed to mitigate, and basically contain, the effects of postulated accidents.

Rosse was the first to identify and document the potential for overheating of safety related cooling systems due to differential fouling (heat exchanger fouling resistance) which had not been addressed in any of several large nuclear plants that were being built, along with several that were in operation. This eventually resulted in the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) Generic Letter 89-13 being issued, which requires periodic actual load testing to determine the systems thermal performance capability to face creditable thermal load scenarios of postulated accidents.

For several years Fred worked in analysis of plant transients relating to nuclear safety, and this experience would later prove very useful in design efforts for fossil fired utility plants, especially Co-Generation, District Energy and Distributed Generation Plants, where transient interruption of service often has unacceptable consequences.

The nuclear power industry faltered in the late 1970s, due to rising costs attributed to the rigid need to meet safety criteria, and many nuclear projects were cancelled as a result. The accident at Three Mile Island brought to light several deficiencies in the design and operation of safety systems at commercial nuclear plants. This revived the nuclear power industry, as the USNRC issued a host of revised safety standards, and their implementation became the major effort of the industry for over a decade.

Fred Rosse has continued to be engaged in the nuclear power industry, providing analysis and design engineering for conventional pressurized water reactors, boiling water reactors, as well as the present crop of newer proposed reactor projects.

More recently, Fred has worked on the smaller modular reactors, including the “Inherently Safe” gas cooled reactor, and the traveling wave Terrapower liquid metal cooled reactor design. Fred developed a most practical natural circulation system design while conducting a trade study for heat exchanger selection on the Terrapower project.




Perhaps Fred’s most significant recent design contribution here is in the ITER International Fusion Reactor Project (being built in France). This international project has assigned cooling systems to the US Department of Energy. The USDOE engaged the firm where Fred functioned as a consulting engineer on a relatively small cost estimate update.

Fred was directed to only give a “cursory review” of the cooling systems associated with this ITER project, as the basic design had already been established for nearly a decade. On examination, Fred realized significant fundamental changes were necessary, and provided a new conceptual design which has far better functional capability, and large cost savings potential. For example, Fred’s proposed design reduced the size of the Intermediate Loop heat exchangers from 354 Metric Tons to 93 Metric Tons, while carrying the same design basis thermal loads. In addition, similar revisions to the design philosophy were brought forward, having similar cost savings as well as better safety character. 


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