Bethany Goldblum to receive 2020 James Corones Award

Bethany Goldblum to Receive 2020 Corones Award

April 29, 2020


The Krell Institute has named Bethany Goldblum the recipient of the James Corones Award in Leadership, Community Building, and Communication for 2020.

The late James Corones founded Krell, a nonprofit that oversees several DOE graduate fellowship programs, in particular, the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration Stewardship Science and Laboratory Residency graduate fellowships (DOE NNSA SSGF and DOE NNSA LRGF). Dr. Goldblum was chosen for her exceptional achievements in nuclear physics and nonproliferation, mentorship of early-career scientists, and her advocacy for science communication.

Goldblum is the Department of Nuclear Engineering associate research engineer and executive director of the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium, a UC Berkeley-led collaboration of seven universities and five Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories. The consortium, established with a $25 million grant from the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE NNSA), focuses on nuclear security and nonproliferation research and on training future nuclear experts. Goldblum was instrumental in the program’s renewal in 2016.

For more information, click here.

Congratulations Dr. Bethany Goldblum!

Daniel Kammen elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Daniel Kammen elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

April 23, 2020


Nine UC Berkeley faculty members from a wide range of disciplines have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), a 240-year-old organization honoring the country’s most accomplished artists, scholars, scientists and leaders.

The nine are among 276 new AAAS members from throughout the country and raise Berkeley’s total count of living AAAS members to about 260.

Daniel Kammen, a professor of energy and resources, public policy and nuclear engineering and director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory. He directs research on the energy supply and energy transmission, smart grid and low-carbon energy systems, life-cycle impacts of transportation options and energy for community development in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The new UC Berkeley members are in good company. Other newly elected members are singer, songwriter and activist Joan Baez, former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., author Ann Patchett, poet and playwright Claudia Rankine, lawyer Anita Hill, New York Times reporter Adam Liptak and independent filmmaker Richard Linklater.

“The members of the class of 2020 have excelled in laboratories and lecture halls, they have amazed on concert stages and in surgical suites, and they have led in board rooms and courtrooms,” said AAAS president David Oxtoby. “With today’s election announcement, these new members are united by a place in history and by an opportunity to shape the future through the Academy’s work to advance the public good.”

For more information click here

Nuclear Science for National Security Applications

MON, 04/20/2020 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
via ZOOM
Spring 2020 Colloquium Series

While the probability of nuclear exchange may be low, the consequences are undeniably grave. My research focuses on methods to improve nuclear security and nonproliferation while advancing technically-sound policies. Via a series of vignettes, I discuss the three main themes of my research—policy-relevant inquiry, data analytics, and applied nuclear physics. First, the planned deployment of new types of nuclear warheads raises questions concerning whether these capabilities alter the threshold for nuclear use—questions that lack the observational data needed to answer them. I provide an introduction to experimental wargaming as a data-generating process, an overview of the SIGNAL wargame, and preliminary results exploring how military capabilities affect the nuclear threshold. Second, recent progress in the development of multi-sensors has opened opportunities for indirect physical sensing of proliferation-relevant phenomena. Using supervised learning and a multisensor network, I demonstrate the classification of nuclear facility operations and explore methods for the transferability of machine learning models. Finally, at the very heart of effective nuclear security is a deep understanding of fundamental nuclear physics. At the 88-Inch Cyclotron at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, my team demonstrated a new method for determining the proton light yield of organic scintillators, a property fundamental to the understanding of their fast neutron response. Our approach has been applied to determine the properties of organic scintillators for use in spectroscopic systems, fast neutron imagers,
and basic nuclear physics. This work represents a concerted effort at the nexus of science, technology, and policy to reduce the risks posed by nuclear weapons.

About the Speaker:
Dr. Bethany Goldblum is an Associate Research Engineer in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley and Executive Director of the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium, a multi-institution initiative established by the National Nuclear Security Administration to train the next generation of nuclear security experts. Her research explores fundamental and applied nuclear physics, proliferation detection, and nuclear weapons policy. Goldblum leads the Bay Area Neutron Group, a research team focused on neutron detection for nuclear security applications, and founded and directs the Nuclear Policy Working Group, an interdisciplinary team of scholars developing policy solutions to strengthen global nuclear security. She has been involved with the Public Policy and Nuclear Threats Boot Camp nearly since its inception, and acted as director of the program since 2014. Goldblum maintains active collaborations with the US DOE National Laboratories, and is an affiliate at Lawrence Berkeley, Lawrence Livermore, and Sandia National Laboratories. She is the author of more than 70 publications on nuclear science and policy issues. Goldblum received a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

What sounds scary vs what actually matters: risk perspectives for nuclear waste and contamination (and possibly coronavirus)

MON, 04/13/2020 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
via ZOOM
Spring 2020 Colloquium Series
Abstract:Environmental concerns – mainly associated with nuclear waste and nuclear accidents – have been one of the biggest bottlenecks for nuclear energy. At the same time, the society has been struggling to assess these risks relative to other hazardous waste, other pollution and climate change. In the US, there are more than a hundred sites used for nuclear weapon production, most of which still have significant radiological contamination in soil and groundwater. With more than thirty years of characterization and remediation activities, these sites offer significant insights on environmental mobilities of radionuclides and their impacts on the environment and public health. For example, relative risks/importance among different radionuclides and other heavy metals have been assessed at many sites.

In parallel, environmental remediation has been evolving over the last thirty years. The current focus is to use more sustainable methods such as passive treatments and monitored natural attenuation, after recognizing that clean-up activities have some side effects and risks such as ecological disturbances, intensive energy uses, CO2/waste production and air pollution. We are developing technologies to support such sustainable remediation based on new sensors, machine learning and numerical modeling of radionuclide migration. The particular focus is to develop a new paradigm of long-term monitoring strategies including early warning systems and monitoring network optimization. We have demonstrated these approaches at the Savannah River Site and the region around the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant.

About the Speaker:
Haruko is a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She earned master in nuclear engineering and statistics, and PhD in nuclear engineering at University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on hydrological modeling, spatial statistics, data integration, and uncertainty quantification. She has worked on various research topics in both nuclear engineering and environmental sciences, including nuclear waste, groundwater contamination, Fukushima radiation monitoring, and climate change impacts on ecosystems.

climate one Podcast, “What’s the Future for Nuclear Power?”

climate one Podcast, "What's the Future for Nuclear Power?"

April 10th, 2020

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Per Peterson, Professor of Nuclear Engineering, UC Berkeley

Edwin Lyman, Acting Director, Nuclear Safety Project, Union of Concerned Scientists


 Ken Farabaugh, Former Employee, Vermont Yankee

 Jose Reyes, Co-Founder & Chief Technology Officer, NuScale Power


Jacob Dewitte, CEO, Oklo



Christine Parthemore, Chief Executive Officer, The Council on Strategic Risks




Once thought to be a modern power source, nuclear fell out of favor after a series of major accidents. But nuclear power is extraordinarily efficient, reliable and clean--does it deserve a new lease on life? The latest episode of @climateone is out now:


Nuclear power - revive it or allow a slow death? Today, about a hundred nuclear plants provide 20 percent of America’s electricity.

Once touted as a modern power source, nuclear fell out of favor after a series of major accidents – most notably those at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. A handful of the plants that once dotted the landscape have been shuttered because they can’t compete with cheaper sources of power. By the end of the century, the industry was languishing. But the urgency of climate change causes some to advocate giving nuclear a new lease on life.  A discussion about the health of the nuclear power industry today, and the 21st century innovations that could point to a new path forward.

The podcast and radio show has been released, and is available on climate oneiTunesStitcher, Spotify and GooglePlay

Kairos Power: From University Conception to Mission-Driven Start-Up

Ed Blandford CTO
MON, 04/06/2020 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
via ZOOM
Spring 2020 Colloquium Series

Fluoride-salt cooled, high-temperature reactors (FHRs) combine existing technologies in a novel way, using high-temperature fuels from gas-cooled reactors with a low-pressure molten salt coolant.  In the last decade, U.S. national laboratories and universities have addressed key scientific and technical questions for the licensing and deployment of FHRs, and have developed pre-conceptual FHR designs with different fuel geometries, core configurations, heat transport system configurations, power cycles, and power levels.  Founded in 2016, Kairos Power, a mission-driven engineering company based in California, has built on the foundation laid by the U.S. Department of Energy sponsored university Integrated Research Projects to design, license, and demonstrate the KP-FHR.  This talk overviews the history of FHR technology and the major role played by universities, as well as Kairos Power’s mission to enable the world’s transition to clean energy.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Edward Blandford is a Co-Founder & CTO of Kairos Power. He is responsible for technology development, experimental testing, modeling and simulation, and process engineering activities at Kairos Power. Prior to co-founding Kairos Power, he was at the University of New Mexico where he was an assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering. Dr. Blandford was also a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. He also worked for several years as a project manager at the Electric Power Research Institute focusing on steam generator thermal-hydraulics and material degradation management. Dr. Blandford has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.