NSSC Featured on NNSA Website

NSSC featured on NNSA website

December 14th, 2018

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In an article titled "Academic consortium takes learning about nuclear science on the road", the National Nuclear Scurity Administration highlights the accomplishments of the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium.

Read the entire article here: https://www.energy.gov/nnsa/articles/academic-consortium-takes-learning-...

Excerpt from the article:

The Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NSSC) – an NNSA-funded academic program led by the University of California, Berkeley – took their mission on the road to reach a broader audience in 2018.

The consortium of eight universities took a creative approach to educating and training the next generation of nuclear professionals.

“NSSC spearheaded many activities this year to give students and mentors throughout the Nuclear Security Enterprise a chance to build connections and showcase their work,” said Dr. Edward Watkins, Assistant Deputy Administrator for NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Development. “These activities allowed consortium participants to work together on creative projects and update peers in person on progress of their research.”

One of the first events to take center stage took place at NNSA’s annual University Program Reviewhosted by University of Michigan in July. Along with partner consortia, NSSC fellows presented their work to peers and other nuclear security professionals.

Hadron Therapy–Current Progress and Research Issues

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SPEAKER:
DR. ELEANOR A. BLAKELY

LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY

DATE/TIME:
MON, 11/26/2018 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2018 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Hadron radiotherapy for cancer treatment with protons or carbon ions was originally developed at the Berkeley Laboratory. Today the United States has more than 25 proton treatment facilities nation wide, but no carbon ion radiotherapy (CIRT) facility. Currently, approximately 20,000 cancer patients worldwide have received CIRT, primarily in Asia and in Europe. This presentation will describe the progress made in this field, and the research and societal issues that still must be addressed.

About the Speaker:

Eleanor A. Blakely is a graduate of the University of San Diego, San Diego, CA (B.A. Biology with Chemistry minor), and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL (M.S. Biophysics and Ph.D. Physiology) as a U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Special Fellow in Radiation Science and Protection. She has spent her entire professional career at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) where she is a Senior Staff Biophysicist with more than 44 y of professional experience in molecular, cellular and animal radiobiological research directed at studying the basic mechanisms of radiation responses, with an emphasis on charged particle radiation effects. She also holds a Faculty Affiliate Appointment in the Department of Radiological Health Sciences at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado and is a Clinical Professor of Radiation Medicine (nontenured) at Loma Linda University, School of Medicine, Loma Linda, California. Her professional activities have included service on advisory panels for several hospitals, universities, and numerous federal agencies including the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Defense (DOD). In June, 2015 she retired after 40 years at LBNL, but was rehired by LBNL in October 2015, and continues to work part-time. In 2015 she received the Berkeley Laboratory Director’s Award for Exceptional Achievement: the Berkeley Lab Citation Award. Dr. Blakely is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the Radiation Research Society, and a Distinguished Emeritus Member of the NCRP.

Laser-driven Pulsed Neutron Sources as a potential Pool-side Characterization Tool for Nuclear Fuels

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SPEAKER:
SVEN C. VOGEL

TECHNICAL STAFF

MATERIALS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DIVISION

LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LABORATORY

DATE/TIME:
MON, 11/19/2018 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2018 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The unique advantages of neutrons for characterization of nuclear fuel materials are applied at the pulsed spallation neutron source at LANSCE to accelerate the development and ultimately licensing of new nuclear fuel forms. Neutrons allow to characterize the crystallography of phases consisting of heavy elements (e.g. uranium) and light elements (e.g. oxygen, nitrogen, or silicon). The penetration ability in combination with comparably large (e.g. cm sized) beam spots provide microstructural characterization of typical fuel geometries for phase composition, strains, and textures from neutron diffraction.

In parallel, we are developing energy-resolved neutron imaging and tomography with which we can complement diffraction characterization. This unique approach not only allows to visualize cracks, arrangement of fuel pellets in rodlets etc., but also characterization of isotope or element densities by means of neutron absorption resonance analysis.

Laser-driven pulsed neutron sources have the potential to provide these capabilities “pool-side”, e.g. at the Advanced Test Reactor at Idaho National Laboratory. Compared to proton accelerator driven spallation sources, requiring investments exceeding $1B, the investment cost for a laser-driven neutron source would be of the order of several $10M with the potential of similar flux to that of a smaller, earlier generation spallation neutron source. Compared to electron accelerator-driven neutron sources, the flux of a laser-driven source would be at least one order of magnitude higher. Compared to reactor neutron sources, the pulse structure of the laser-driven neutron source would enable unique characterization not possible with steady-state reactor neutrons.

In this presentation, we provide an overview of our recent accomplishments in fuel characterization for accident-tolerant fuel consisting of uranium nitride/uranium silicide composite fuels as well as metallic fuels. We will further discuss recent results demonstrating the use of laser-driven neutron sources for these efforts.

Production of the Transplutonium Elements

SusanHogle
SPEAKER:
SUSAN HOGLE

NUCLEAR ENGINEER

DATE/TIME:
MON, 11/05/2018 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2018 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

 The transplutonium elements were discovered beginning in the 1940s and 50s, with many synthesized for the first time at UC Berkeley. Since that time, large scale reactor production programs have taken place at the Savannah River Site, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, amongst others. Production and isolation of the transplutonium elements present many unique challenges, including high radiotoxicity, short half-lives, poor nuclear data, and significant heat production. These challenges, and the research underway to address them, will be discussed during this talk, as well as ongoing and potential future applications of various transplutonium isotopes.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Susan Hogle received her PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Tennessee in 2012, and her Bachelors of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2004. Dr. Hogle currently works at the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory where her primary area of research is in the reactor production of isotopes, in particular actinides such as 229Th, 249Bk, and 252Cf. Additional areas of research include optimization and evolutionary modeling, sensitivity and uncertainty analysis for depletion, and integral cross-section measurements.

Nuclear Forensics and What it Can Tell Us about Materials from the Front End of the Uranium Fuel Cycle

NaomiMarks
SPEAKER:
NAOMI E. MARKS

RESEARCH SCIENTIST

DATE/TIME:
MON, 10/29/2018 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2018 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Cohosted together with the NSSC

The illicit trafficking of radioactive and nuclear materials has been the subject of increasing concern in the international community over the past decade.  These materials are problematic because of their radiotoxicity, and have been lately discovered in settings ranging from contaminated scrap metal to Am-241-laced gambling dice.  The trafficking of nuclear materials poses a greater concern, as these materials pose a proliferation risk if they are diverted and escape regulatory control.  Nuclear forensic signatures can help to elucidate the origin of a material, and are also relevant for assessing the consistency of a state’s declarations.  In this talk I will describe case studies and research on elemental and isotopic signatures that can be used to address questions of nuclear forensic interest.

About the Speaker:

Naomi Marks is a researcher in nuclear forensics at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) with expertise in thermal ionization mass spectrometry and electron probe microanalysis, including applications to nuclear forensics; as well as expertise in U mining and milling; isotopic and chemical evolution of early solar system materials; and international nuclear forensics engagements.  She is serves as developer and designer for the NNSA and IAEA Nuclear Forensics training courses and has traveled to more than a dozen countries in support of nuclear forensics cooperation engagements.  Naomi’s current research focuses on identifying geochemical signatures in materials from the early part of the uranium fuel cycle and on developing nuclear forensics libraries.

Quantitative molecular imaging using ionizing radiation

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SPEAKER:
DR. YOUNGHO SEO

UC BERKELEY - UCSF

DATE/TIME:
MON, 10/22/2018 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2018 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Molecular imaging modalities such as SPECT and PET can provide quantitative information about diseases or other conditions for which they were designed for. By studying challenging applications of these imaging modalities, particularly in the form of dual-modality SPECT/CT, PET/CT, and PET/MRI, critical areas of unmet need could be unveiled. In this presentation, I will describe applications-driven technology development in SPECT, PET, and x-ray imaging using several examples to which our laboratory has made significant contributions.

About the Speaker:

Youngho Seo, PhD, is a Professor and Director of Nuclear Imaging Physics in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology, Faculty Affiliate at the Bakar Computational Health Sciences Institute, Program Member of Pediatric Malignancies and Prostate Cancer programs at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF, Faculty of the UC Berkeley - UCSF Bioengineering Graduate Program, and Physicist Faculty Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Dr. Seo leads a group of physicists and engineers working in the field of radionuclide and x-ray imaging instrumentation and physics, and directs the UCSF Physics Research Laboratory. His primary research focus is to use quantitative SPECT/CT, PET/CT, and PET/MR molecular imaging tools for a broad range of research areas from small animal imaging using dedicated animal imaging systems and basic instrumentation development to physics analysis of clinical research data.