The Transformational Challenge Reactor

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MON, 08/31/2020 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
Fall 2020 Colloquium Series

This talk provides and overview of motivation behind and ongoing activities towards development and deployment of the Transformational Challenge Reactor (TCR)

About the Speaker:
Kurt Terrani is a Senior Staff Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Director of Transformational Challenge Reactor program for U.S. DOE, Office of Nuclear Energy. He joined the laboratory as a Weinberg Fellow in the Nuclear Fuel Materials Group in 2010 after completing his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on fundamental aspects of nuclear fuel and materials manufacturing, radiation effects, and behavior.

THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY: Interview with Peter Hosemann

The Future of Nuclear Energy: Interview with Peter Hosemann


If you get cancer treatment today, it’s very likely you will get injected with a radioactive substance. That technology is born out of the nuclear enterprise. Without reactors, you wouldn’t have it. There are numerous examples of the benefits of nuclear engineering beyond just nuclear power.
Dr. Peter Hosemann, Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at University of California, Berkeley

In 2000, nuclear energy from just 30 countries provided approximately 15 percent of worldwide electricity capacity. But by 2019, its share had fallen to 10 percent, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicting that without intervention it would fall even further, to 5 percent, by 2040. That represents a significant drop in what could be an important source of clean energy.

“A nuclear power plant doesn’t take up a lot of space, and it can create a tremendous amount of energy, with a carbon footprint that is extremely low,” says Dr. Peter Hosemann, a professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at University of California Berkeley, where he is also the current chair.

Nuclear energy is the second-largest low-carbon power source in the world, second only to hydropower. According to the IEA, low-carbon electricity generation has to increase to 85 percent of the world’s energy, from its 36 percent share today, in order to stave off the most calamitous effects of climate change. Of major low-carbon energy sources, nuclear power is the least dependent upon geography.

“I believe the use of nuclear energy will increase as we become more serious about climate change and carbon emission,” Dr. Hosemann says. “I don’t think we have much of a choice.”

Dr. Peter Hosemann is a professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California Berkeley, where he is also the department chair. He received his MS and PhD degrees in material science from Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria.

Prior to joining the Department of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley, Dr. Hosemann was a graduate research assistant and a post-doc at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His research features experimental material science for nuclear applications, with a focus on the structural materials used for nuclear components.



MRS Graduate Student Awards

MRS Graduate Student Awards

Yujun Xie, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at Prof. Peter Hosemann’s group at the University of California at Berkeley and National Center for Electron Microscopy in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has won the prestigious gold graduate student award from the 2020 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting for his Ph.D. work at Yale University working with Prof. Judy Cha and Prof. Jan Schroers.
MRS Graduate Student Awards are intended to honor and encourage graduate students whose academic achievements and current materials science research display a high level of excellence and distinction. MRS seeks to recognize students of exceptional ability who show promise for significant future achievement in materials research and education. Yujun was selected as one of 19 finalists and gave an invited competition talk. His presentation titled "Atomistic Understanding of Crystallization Principles in Atomistic Understanding of Crystallization Principles for Additive Manufacturing" was selected as one of the 7 students to receive the Gold Award among the finalists.
One focus of Xie's research is developing predictable outcomes in crystallization when working on the nanoscale.
“My work aims to develop accurate crystallization models beyond conventional theories and enable precise control of the microstructures of the structural alloys over a wide range of length scales from Ångström to micrometer using advanced analytical transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques at unprecedented time and spatial resolution,” said Xie, who is now working with Prof. Peter Hosemann on learning the failure mechanism of composite materials in extreme
For more information, click here.

DOE- Sponsored Research Addressing Protective Equipment During The Pandemic UCB-NE/LBNL Collaboration

DOE- Sponsored Research Addressing Protective Equipment During The Pandemic UCB-NE/LBNL Collaboration

August 19, 2020

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Since March 2020 it became obvious that Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential to maintain core functions during a pandemic.

Essential workers are in need to receive reliable and convenient PPE, especially masks that are easy to breathe in. To address a need we work on a DOE-sponsored project with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

Our research and development focuses on two different aspects:

  1. Enhanced filtration and breathability by electrically enhanced filtration
  2. Castable mask designs (factory on a pallet)

The UCB-NE team of researchers Jason Duckering, Jeff Bickel, and Peter Hosemann worked together with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists Deepti Tanjore, Jeffrey Urban, Jaeyoo Choi, and Chaochao Dun to provide rapidly available masks with conventional or enhance filtration to essential workers.

Is Nuclear Power the Solution to Climate Change?

Is Nuclear Power the Solution to Climate Change?

August 14th, 2020

Paul Dorfman and Staffan Qvist both want to save the climate. But one of them wants to rid the world of nuclear reactors while the other wants to build more of them. We brought them together for a debate.

Dorfman, 64, of University College London, is founder and chair of the Nuclear Consulting Group, a collection of experts and activists working on nuclear energy and radiation medicine, nuclear proliferation and the sustainability of energy systems.

Qvist, 34, completed his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering at the University of California at Berkeley and has since been conducting research in the U.S. and Sweden on the safety and economics of nuclear power. He currently runs an energy consultancy firm in Great Britain. He is the author of the book "A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow” together with the economist Joshua Goldstein.

To read the full debate, click here.