Berkeley Lab Team Wins Data-Driven Scavenger Hunt for Simulated Nuclear Materials

Berkeley Lab Team Wins Data-Driven Scavenger Hunt for Simulated Nuclear Materials

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Competing in a fictitious high-stakes scenario, a group of scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) bested two dozen other teams in a months-long, data-driven scavenger hunt for simulated radioactive materials in a virtual urban environment.

The goal of this hackathon-styled event was both to improve the detection methods that could be applied to actual threats involving nuclear materials, and to create a platform to virtually vet out these methods.

Tenzing Joshi, an applied nuclear physicist in Berkeley Lab’s Nuclear Science Division, led the winning team in this Urban Radiological Search Competition created by the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration. His teammates included Mark Bandstra, a senior scientific engineering associate, and UC Berkeley graduate student Kyle Bilton.

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DoE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security attends program review featuring the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium

Department of Energy Under Secretary for Nuclear Security/Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration attends program review featuring the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium

July 17th, 2018

Department of Energy Under Secretary for Nuclear Security/Administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration attends program review featuring the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium

The Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NSSC), a multi-institution initiative headquartered at UC Berkeley, participated in the annual Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development (DNN R&D) University Program Review (UPR) meeting on June 5-7, 2018 in Ann Arbor, MI, hosted by University of Michigan. Ms. Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator, provided the opening address at the program review to an audience of more than 285 students, faculty, national laboratory scientists, and DOE NNSA program officials, including Dr. Edward Watkins, Assistant Deputy Administrator, DNN R&D and Dr. Victoria Franques, Senior Program Manager, DNN R&D.

The UPR focused on the work of the NSSC as well as the Consortium for Nonproliferation Enabling Capabilities (CNEC) and the Consortium for Verification Technology (CVT). These consortia, funded by DNN R&D as part of the Integrated University Program (IUP) with DOE Office of Nuclear Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, have a mission to develop the nation’s intellectual capital in nuclear science and engineering. The NSSC Student Fellows presented 18 oral presentations and 30 poster presentations. Three types of awards were presented to the students from the three consortia at the UPR meeting: awards for best national laboratory collaboration, best poster presentation, and best oral presentation.

Tyler Jordan, NSSC Graduate Fellow in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, won an award for best national laboratory collaboration for his work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) with mentors Dr. Madison Andrews and Dr. Krista Meierbachtol. Tyler’s research focuses on correlated fission experiments for fission model validation. This work increases the effectiveness of radiation detection systems that support efforts to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Tyler Jordan said of his experience at UPR, “The effectiveness of the university consortium model becomes particularly evident during the UPR meeting, especially in terms of connecting students to national labs and government agencies. It’s not every day that I get to sit in a room full of experts in the field and at the institutions that I want to engage in my own career; the chance to discuss research with national lab staff scientists and other university researchers is immensely valuable to me.”

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New Energy Frontier Research Centers Announced

New Energy Frontier Research Centers Announced

July 02, 2018

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The  Department of Energy's Office of Basic Energy Science announces the new Energy Frontier Research Centers. 100M$ will fund 42 EFRC's (https://www.energy.gov/articles/doe-awards-100-million-energy-frontier-research-centers). These 4 year centers will received between $2M and $4M annually and will help accelerate scientific understanding in diverse energy related fields including catalysts, electro and photo-chemistry, geoscience, quantum materials and nuclear and synthesis.

UC-Berkeley's Nuclear Engineering department is co-director and part of the winning team lead by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) scientists Blas Uberuaga. The team will work on the project entitled "Fundamental Understanding of Transport Under Reactor Extremes (FUTURE)"  which aims to understand the coupling between radiation damage and corrosion and predict irradiation-assisted corrosion in passivating and non-passivating environments for materials in nuclear energy systems.

Max Fratoni wins ANS Early Career Reactor Physicist Award

Max Fratoni wins ANS Early Career Reactor Physicist Award

July 2nd, 2018

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UCBNE Faculty Dr. Massimiliano Fratoni will be presented the award at the RPD session at the ANS Winter Meeting, November 2018 - "For his numerous significant contributions to the conception and design of advanced reactors, and for his dedication to training the future generations of reactor physicists." ~ANS

Congratulations, Max!

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