Prof. Mohamed Abdou’s Research Areas



Developed theory and computational methods for nuclear heating.
Performed integral experiments (in collaboration with Japan) on tritium breeding, nuclear heating, induced radioactivity, and decay heat. Made advances in: a) use of “point” neutron source in a “line source” arrangement, b) experimental techniques, and c) 3-D computational methods.
Developed special methods for radiation transport in deep radiation penetration problems.
Method development, nuclear analysis, and nuclear data assessments.
Applications to blanket, shield, and fusion reactor designs

Tritium Behavior & Fuel Cycle

Developed dynamic model of the complete tritium fuel cycle in fusion systems to predict tritium behavior, flow rates, and inventories in all components.
Developed methodology to derive physics and technology conditions and parameters required to attain tritium fuel self-sufficiency. Applied methodology to identify R&D priorities for fusion physics and technology.
Developed phenomenological and computational models for tritium release and transport in lithium ceramics and beryllium; benchmarked against experiments in fission reactors.


Developed models and computational methods, and performed experiments for liquid metal MHD fluid flow and heat transfer (2-D core-flow approximation and 3-D full solution) in self-cooled (closed channel) blankets.
Advanced models and performed experiments for understanding surface heat transfer and fluid flow behavior of free-surface flows with and without magnetic field. Applied results to investigating “liquid walls” in inertial and magnetic fusion systems.


Experiments and models to predict the effective thermomechanical properties and interface heat conductance of ceramic blanket pebble beds.
Modeling and analysis of the changes of the packed states through pebble/pebble and bed/clad interactions during blanket operation.
Measurements of the interface heat conductance between non-conforming beryllium and metallic surfaces subject to non-uniform thermal deformations.

Innovative Designs and Engineering Testing

Conceptual design and system analysis for magnetic and inertial fusion power reactors.
Conceptual design and critical analysis of feasibility and attractiveness issues for self-cooled liquid metal blankets and ceramic breeder blankets.
Conceptual design and system analysis of technology development facilities and volumetric neutron source (VNS; also called Component Development Facility, CTF)
Development of technical approach and similarity parameters for fusion nuclear technology testing and development. Application to experiments in Testing Facilities such as ITER and VNS/CTF.
Innovative designs and analysis for high power density plasma chamber technology including free-surface liquid walls and high-temperature refractory alloys. Examples of studies and projects for which a major leadership role and substantial technical contributions were provided:

  • ITER US Test Blanket Module (TBM) Project (Blanket test module and ancillary equipment: design and engineering, R&D experiments and predictive capability, cost estimates, technical planning, testing strategy, and fabrication and prototype testing. Objective is to develop, deploy, and operate a series of US test blanket modules in ITER) (2003-Present)
  • APEX (Advanced Power Extraction Study, 1997-2003)
  • Test Program for ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (Leader of the International Program, 1987-1989 and 1993-1995; Leader of the U.S. Program 1987-Present)
  • IEA-HVPNS (International Energy Agency Study on High-Volume Plasma-Based Neutron Sources, 1994-1995)
  • PROMETHEUS (Conceptual reactor design study for Inertial Fusion, 1991-1993)
  • Technical Program Analysis (Leadership of Fusion Technology in the US Community studies, 1985-1987)
  • FINESSE (The most comprehensive study to date of engineering scaling issues, phenomena, experiments and facilities for Fusion Nuclear Technology, 1983-1987)
  • BCCS (Blanket Comparison and Selection Study, 1983-1984)
  • DEMO (First Demonstration Power Plant study in the world, 1980-1983)
  • INTOR (International Tokamak Reactor, US, Japan, Europe, and Russia; led the U. S. Fusion Nuclear Technology Research and Design Effort, 1980-1983)
  • STARFIRE (Comprehensive reactor conceptual design, 1979-1982)