Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

First Advisor

Bahram Nassersharif


Los Alamos National Laboratories presented team Atolla Nuclear the task of safeguarding a floating nuclear power plant. This new concept was narrowed down into protecting the spent nuclear fuel for floating nuclear reactors. The product designed was a remotely controlled flotation device for the spent nuclear fuel casks. This product, appropriately named Atolla Float, is capable of protecting the spent nuclear fuel up to twelve kilometers off of the coastline.

Atolla Float was designed capable of remotely inflating at a depth of up to one hundred meters under the surface of the ocean, the maximum depth of the ocean at a distance of twelve kilometers from the coastline. To inflate at that depth, the flotation device is able to overcome the hydrodynamic pressure at a depth of one hundred meters. The engineering analysis determined a torus shape for flotation bladder that attaches to a steel collar secured to the spent nuclear fuel cask. This cask can remain under the ocean during an attack and be inflated remotely as soon as the reactor is secured.

In this report, a time line was created for developing this product and a detailed financial analysis was done on the product. This includes the projected costs as well as the actual costs spent on the prototypes. A detailed market analysis was included. The patents researched and used were included in the report. Design specifications were evaluated for the product and explained in the report including numerical data to show what the Atolla Float must be capable of.

From the design specifications, one hundred and twenty design concepts were generated. It was from these concepts that the design idea for Atolla Float was chosen. After Atolla Float was chosen, it was evaluated and put into a quality function deployment chart. This chart evaluated the design requirements and the customer requirements.

Team Atolla Nuclear worked extremely hard to develop a detailed product design and corresponding models in solid works modeling software. A complete finite element analysis and engineering analysis on the design was completed. Through calculations and finite element analysis, the concept was proven for Atolla Float.

With the help of Los Alamos, team Atolla Nuclear has developed an innovative design to secure spent nuclear material for floating nuclear reactor. It is the first of its design and will be valuable to companies and countries investing in floating nuclear reactors. This product encompasses the entirety of safeguards of design for a floating nuclear reactor.


Sponsor: Los Alamos National Laboratory