Superheavy Element Discovery and Chemistry at LLNL

Dawn_Shaughnessy
SPEAKER:
DAWN SHAUGHNESSY, PH.D.

DEPUTY DIRECTOR,HEAVY ELEMENT DISCOVERY GROUP,
LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY

DATE/TIME:
MON, 11/24/2014 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2014 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The heavy element group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has had a long tradition of nuclear and radiochemistry dating back to the 1950’s.  Some of the most exciting work has taken place in the last decade (in collaboration with the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Dubna, Russia) with the discovery of six new elements - 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and 118.  By pushing the boundaries of the periodic table, we can start to answer some of the most fundamental questions of nuclear science, such as the locations of the next “magic numbers” of protons and neutrons, and the possibility of an “Island of Stability” where nuclides would have lifetimes much longer than those currently observed in the heaviest elements.  We have already seen evidence of extra-stability in the heaviest nuclides, which leads to half-lives that are long enough for us to perform chemistry on these isotopes one atom at a time.  Work is underway on developing an automated chemical system that will be used for studying chemical properties of elements 104 and 105.  New chemical separations are being studied that can be deployed using a multi-column automated system.  These experiments will provide the ground work for performing aqueous chemistry later on even heavier elements such as element 114 where the chemical properties are completely unknown.  In this overview the discovery of these new elements and the chemical experiments in progress will be discussed.  This work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.  This work was funded by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development Program at LLNL under project tracking code 11-ERD-011.

About the Speaker:

Dawn Shaughnessy received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in May of 1993.  After graduating, she decided to remain at Berkeley and pursue a Ph.D. with a focus on nuclear chemistry.  She joined the research group of Professor Darleane Hoffman and received a Ph.D. in 2000.  Her research focused on the delayed fission properties of isotopes of einsteinium, which were produced at the 88-Inch Cyclotron at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  During her tenure at Berkeley, Dawn received an award as one of the top Graduate Student Instructors through the College of Chemistry.  After finishing graduate school, Dawn began a postdoctoral appointment at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the Chemical Sciences Division under Professor Heino Nitsche.  Her research was the study of how plutonium interacts with naturally occurring manganese-bearing minerals as part of a DOE Environmental Management Project geared toward clean-up of nuclear materials in the environment.  After completing her postdoc in 2002, she accepted a term position at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the Stockpile Radiochemistry Group.  She has recently been appointed group leader for the newly created Experimental Nuclear and Radiochemistry Group, which is currently part of the Chemical Sciences Division at LLNL, and is also the Responsible Scientist for radiochemical debris collection at the National Ignition Facility.  In addition, she is the project leader of the LLNL heavy element program, which announced discovery of element 117 in April of 2010.  In May of 2012, it was also announced by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry that element 116 would be officially known as “livermorium”, an honor granted to the LLNL heavy element program in recognition of their years of research.  Dawn’s  general research interests include actinide and heavy element chemistry, chemical automation, nuclear forensics methods and radiochemical diagnostics.  She has been a staff chemist at LLNL for 12 years.  Most recently she was awarded the DOE Office of Science Outstanding Mentor Award (2010), the Gordon Battelle Prize for Scientific Discovery for the discovery of element 117 (2010), and was inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame for Scientific Discovery (2012).

Systematic Study of a Small, Long-life HTGR Design for Passive-Decay Heat Removal

sambuu
SPEAKER:
ODMAA SAMBUU

DOCTORAL PROGRAM STUDENT, DEPARTMENT OF NUCLEAR ENGINEERING, TOKYO INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

DATE/TIME:
FRI, 11/14/2014 - 12:15PM TO 1:00PM
LOCATION:
4101 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2014 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Failure to remove residual decay heat in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011 has definitely influenced design attitudes toward nuclear reactors with passive-decay heat-removal features. Generally, modular high temperature gas-cooler reactors (HTGRs) have the ability to remove decay heat apart from their active and passive cooling systems. However, the feasibility of passive-decay heat removal in HTGRs is subject to design parameters. A systematic methodology for designing HTGR for passive-decay heat removal is introduced. As a part of this study, the conditions of several design parameters is used obtained in previous research for both underground and aboveground HTGRs capable of removing decay-heat successfully and satisfying the safety limit of temperatures of fuel and reactor buildings (RB) . The neutronic performance of a small HTGR whose design parameters were obtained using the conditions was investigated also.

Identifying the Origin and Composition of Found Radioactive Objects: Nuclear Forensics in Action at Chalk River Laboratories

Bhaskar_Sur
SPEAKER:
DR. BHASKAR SUR
DATE/TIME:
MON, 05/05/2014 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2014 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Radioactive materials and sources have been used worldwide for the last 100 years - for medical diagnosis and therapy, industrial imaging and process monitoring, consumer applications, materials and biological research, and for generating nuclear energy - among other peaceful purposes.  Many of the radioactive materials have been produced, and the associated nuclear science and technology developed, at major research sites such as the Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario, Canada.  Sometimes, undocumented radioactive materials associated with production, development or use are found, usually in the context of a legacy setting, and their composition and origin need to be determined in order for these materials to be safely handled and securely dispositioned.  The novel application of non-destructive, as well as destructive, nuclear analytical techniques for this purpose, from the suite of tools in Canada's National Nuclear Forensics in the context of some recent investigations.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Bhaskar Sur graduated with a 5-year integrated M.Sc. in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and obtained his Ph.D. in Experimental Nuclear Astrophysics from the Ohio State University, Columbus Ohio. After post-doctoral fellowships at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California and Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, he joined the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited at Chalk River Laboratories, Chalk River Ontario in 1992. As Director of the Nuclear Science Division at Chalk River Laboratories, he oversees R&D in the areas of Applied Physics, Reactor Physics, Nuclear Instrumentation & Control Systems, Radiation Biology and Environmental Technologies. He is the AECL lead for programs in Non-Proliferation & Counter-Terrorism, Tritium & Fusion, and Small Reactors. Dr. Sur is the recipient of the AECL President's Discovery Award in 2007 and the AECL President's Distinguished Merit Award in 2013. He has recently been appointed to the Editorial Board of the AECL Nuclear Review, a peer-reviewed open access Canadian Nuclear Science and Technology journal.

The High-foot Implosion Campaign on the National Ignition Facility

Hurricane
SPEAKER:
DR. OMAR HURRICANE
DATE/TIME:
WED, 04/23/2014 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2014 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Ignition has been a long sought-after goal needed to make fusion energy a viable alternative energy source, but ignition has yet to be achieved. For an inertially confined fusion (ICF) plasma to ignite, the plasma must be very well confined and very hot, to generate extremely high pressures needed for self-heating – achieving this state is not easy!

In this talk, we will discuss the technology, science, and progress towards ignition on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Northern California. We will cover the some of the setbacks encountered during the progress of the research at NIF, but also cover the great advances that have been made.

In particular, we will cover the recent work using the new “high-foot” pulse-shape implosion that presently holds the record for fusion performance. High-foot implosions are the first facility based fusion experiments to generate more energy from fusion than was invested in the fusion fuel. Yield amplifications from alpha-particle self-heating of 2.25x have also been demonstrated.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Omar Hurricane is a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and lead scientist for the High-foot Implosion Campaign on the NIF. His research focuses on weapons physics, high energy density physics science, and plasma instability. Dr. Hurricane has authored 60 journal publications and 60 conference papers, largely in the area of plasma physics and HEDP. He has received several awards and honors, including the U.S. Department of Energy Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for National Security and Nonproliferation (2009), five U.S. Department of Energy Defense Programs Recognition of Excellence Awards (2002, 2004, 2009 x 2, 2010), and three LLNL Directors Science & Technology awards (2010, 2011, and 2013). Dr. Hurricane received his B.S. in Physics and Applied Mathematics from Metropolitan State University of Denver, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Nuclear Energy, Risks, and Moral Emotions

Roeser
SPEAKER:
PROF.DR. SABINE ROESER
DATE/TIME:
MON, 04/21/2014 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2014 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Technological risks raise important ethical issues. Although technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, ICT, and nuclear energy can improve human well-being, they may also convey risks due to, for example, accidents and pollution. As a consequence of such side effects, technologies can trigger emotions, including fear and indignation, which often leads to conflicts between experts and laypeople. Emotions are generally seen to be a disturbing factor in debates about risky technologies as they are taken to be irrational and immune to factual information. In my presentation I will review the psychological literature that seems to support this idea. I will then present an alternative account according to which this is due to a wrong understanding of emotions. Emotions can be a source of practical rationality. Emotions such as fear, sympathy, and compassion help to grasp morally salient features of risky technologies, such as fairness, justice, equity, and autonomy that get overlooked in conventional, technocratic approaches to risk. Emotions should be taken seriously in debates about risky technologies. This will lead to a more balanced debate in which all parties are taken seriously, which increases the chances to be willing to listen to each other and give and take. This is needed in order to come to well-grounded policies on how to deal with risky technologies. I will specifically focus on the example of nuclear energy to illustrate how an alternative approach of emotions can help to improve public discourse.

About the Speaker:

Prof.dr. Sabine Roeser (1970, Haan, Germany) is professor of ethics at the philosophy Department of TU Delft, Netherlands, where she holds a distinguished Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Chair. Sabine Roeser is head of a research group on Moral Emotions and Risk Politics, funded by the Dutch science foundation NWO. Roeser is former managing director of the 3TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology. Roeser did her PhD in the foundations of ethics in 2002 at the Free University Amsterdam. During the work for her PhD she spent time as a visiting student at the Philosophy Departments of the University of Reading (UK) and of the University of Notre Dame. Sabine Roeser holds degrees in fine arts (BA), political science (MA) and philosophy (MA, PhD). She publishes on risk, ethics and emotions.

The Interface of Science and Policy

Kusnezov
SPEAKER:
DR. DIMITRI KUSNEZOV
DATE/TIME:
MON, 04/14/2014 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
277 CORY HALL
Spring 2014 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

To provide insight on how science is drawn into time-urgent policy decisions through a series of examples. Many challenges exist on how to best inject science into decision processes and today it is often haphazard, requiring awareness of potential tools and involvement in the policy decisions. Examples range from the Fukushima Daiichi accident and aircraft safety to the Gulf oil spill.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Kusnezov received A.B. degrees in Physics and in Pure Mathematics with highest honors from UC Berkeley. Following a year of research at the Institut fur Kernphysik, KFA-Julich, in Germany, he attended Princeton University earning his MS in Physics and Ph.D. in Theoretical Nuclear Physics. At Michigan State University, he conducted postdoctoral research and then became an instructor. In 1991, he joined the faculty of Yale University as an assistant professor in physics, becoming an associate professor in 1996. He has served as a visiting professor at numerous universities around the world. Dr. Kusnezov has published over 100 articles and a book. He joined federal service at the National Nuclear Security Administration in late 2001 and is a member of the Senior Executive Service and is also a Visiting Researcher at Yale. He currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary of Energy.

Closing the Fusion Fuel Cycle: Tritium Recovery and Processing

Reyes
SPEAKER:
SUSANA REYES, PH.D.
DATE/TIME:
MON, 04/07/2014 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2014 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Recent efforts on fusion energy at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have been focused on delivering a transformative source of safe, secure, sustainable electricity, using a laser inertial confinement approach. A future fusion power plant shall demonstrate the feasibility of a closed fusion fuel cycle, including tritium breeding, extraction, processing, re-fueling, accountability and safety, in a continuously operating power-producing device. While many fusion plant designs require large quantities of tritium for start up and operations, a range of design choices made for an inertial fusion energy (IFE) fuel cycle act to substantially reduce the in-process tritium inventory. The high fractional burn-up in an IFE capsule greatly relaxes the tritium breeding requirements, while the use of only milligram quantities of fuel per shot and choice of a pure lithium heat transfer fluid substantially reduce the amount of tritium entrained in the facility. Additionally, the high solubility of tritium in the lithium is calculated to mitigate the need for development of permeation barriers in the engine systems, normally required to protect against routine releases. A methodology for recovery of the tritium fuel from the blanket via a solvent extraction process is being investigated, with various potential technology solutions under evaluation.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Reyes is a nuclear engineer at LLNL, with more than 15 years of experience in international fusion projects. She is currently leading LLNL’s Inertial Fusion Energy effort for tritium systems and fuel cycle, as is the current Vice-Chair, and upcoming Chair of the American Nuclear Society’s (ANS) Fusion Energy Division. She earned an M.Sci. in Power Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the UNED University in Madrid in 2001. Dr. Reyes joined LLNL’s Fusion Energy Program in 1999 to work on the safety analysis of inertial fusion energy power plant designs. Since then, she has worked in a variety of fusion research projects, including the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in LLNL and the ITER Organization in Cadarache, France, where she supported the project through the coordination of safety analyses and associated documentation in preparation for ITER licensing. Her current interests are focused on the safety and environmental aspects of fusion so as the fuel cycle challenges for future fusion power commercialization.

A Brief Overview of Radiation Related Research in the Microfabrication Program at Sandia National Laboratories

Derzon
SPEAKER:
MARK S. DERZON
DATE/TIME:
MON, 03/31/2014 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2014 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Microfabrication offers some unique opportunities to build radiation sources as well as sensors. Recently we have proposed fabricating pulsed accelerator diode components with lithographic methods for both neutron and x ray sources. This seminar will split our time between discussion of the radiation source concepts and the detectors.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Derzon is working on new microelectronics capabilities to enhance nuclear detection and other national security missions. His team at Sandia has developed a platform for CBRNE detection and orthogonal detection of DNA/RNA/immunoassay which accepts raw samples. He wrote the US draft strategic plan for the White House OSTP on diagnostic development for CBRNE defense based on work with USAMRIID. He has led plasma physics experimental series on numerous facilities (‘Z’, PBFA, Saturn, LLNLs NOVA) and developed many of the key diagnostics. Dr. Derzon has numerous publications and over 200 internal reports documenting his efforts. He obtained his Ph.D from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987.

The Great Unknownium Debate

Raap
SPEAKER:
MICHAELE (MIKEY) BRADY RAAP, PH.D.
DATE/TIME:
MON, 03/17/2014 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
102 MOFFITT
Spring 2014 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The US is heavily invested in the detection and interdiction of nuclear materials. Radiation monitoring at international border crossings and security stations at international ports of entry are a key defense in this area. So what happens if material is interdicted? The first priority is assuring that the immediate threat of the material is neutralized. The next question is what type of material is it and where did it come from? Nuclear forensics is the term used to describe the investigation of the “unknownium” to find evidence of its type, source and trafficking history.

Nuclear reactors produce plutonium as they operate. This plutonium could conceivably be extracted from used fuel and used for weapons. In fact, over half of the estimated world inventory of plutonium is present in the form of used fuel from reactors. There are a
number of different reactor types in use throughout the world today. Each of these reactors produce plutonium with an isotopic distribution that reflects specific operating parameters of the reactor including fuel enrichment, power density, fuel type and geometry, etc. The great debate is whether or not the differences between reactor types are significant enough and is there sufficient data to establish a unique signature for reactor types.

This presentation introduces the concepts discussed above and reviews the existing data for used fuels and programmatic efforts to establish a method for classifying reactor types in the investigation of “unknownium”.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Michaele (Mikey) Brady Raap is a chief engineer with the Nuclear Systems Design, Engineering & Analysis Group within the National Security Directorate at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington. She has more than 25 years of experience in nuclear and criticality safety for plutonium processing and spent fuel systems including the design and review of benchmark experiments, safety assessments at operating facilities and integrating safety-in-design.

Dr. Brady Raap has had extensive involvement with international and national nuclear organizations. She has been the Chair of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD / NEA) Nuclear Energy Agency, Expert Group on Burnup Credit Criticality for over 20 years. She has been a key contributor to Technical Coordination Meetings organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) related to burnup credit. Dr. Brady Raap is an active member of multiple American National Standards Institute / American Nuclear Society (ANSI/ANS) Working Groups and in International Standards Organization (ISO) standards development activities. She is currently the chairman of the OECD/NEA Working Party on Nuclear Criticality Safety (WPNCS) and a member of the DOE Nuclear Criticality Safety Support Group (CSSG).

Dr. Brady Raap has been an active member of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) since joining in 1985 and has held many leadership positions for ANS including the chairmanship of both the Reactor Physics and Nuclear Criticality Safety Divisions. She has served two terms on the ANS Board of Directors and as the Treasurer (2011-2013). Dr. Brady Raap currently the Vice-President/President-Elect (2013-2014) and will assume the role of President of the ANS in June 2014.

Laser Plasma Accelerators and MeV Photon Sources for Nuclear Physics

Geddes
SPEAKER:
CAMERON G.R. GEDDES, PH.D.
DATE/TIME:
MON, 03/10/2014 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2014 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Laser-plasma accelerators (LPAs) produce GeV electron beams in centimeters, using the plasma wave driven by the radiation pressure of an intense laser. Such compact high-energy linacs are important to applications ranging from future high energy physics to monochromatic sources of MeV photons for nuclear material security, for which beam quality and efficiency are crucial. Operation principles of LPAs and photon source applications will be reviewed. Control over the laser optical mode and plasma profile has extended the acceleration distance to produce efficient acceleration. This includes electrons above 200 MeV from 10 TW and up to 4.25 GeV from <400 TW. Recent experiments will be discussed which use the beat
between ’colliding’ lasers to control injection, producing bunches with energy spreads below 1.5% FWHM and divergences of 1.5 mrad FWHM. Separate experiments recently demonstrated 0.1 mm-mrad emittance from self injected LPAs using betatron radiation, and stable beam performance. The combination of low energy spread and emittance with production of 200 MeV energies from 10 TW lasers, which are now transportable, is important to applications including MeV photon and other light sources, and to high energy LPAs for HEP. Designs for MeV photon sources utilizing the unique properties of LPA beams, and their applications to nuclear physics and interrogation, will be discussed.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Geddes is a staff scientist in the LOASIS program of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, investigating use of laser driven plasma waves to build compact next generation particle accelerators and photon sources. These accelerators sustain much higher accelerating fields than conventional devices. Applications include extending the future reach of high energy physics accelerators, and compact sources of near-monochromatic MeV photons for nuclear interrogation. Geddes received the Ph.D. in 2005 at the University of California, Berkeley, supported by the Hertz Fellowship, receiving the Hertz and APS Rosenbluth dissertation prizes for the first laser plasma accelerator producing mono-energetic beams. He received the B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1997, and the APS Apker and Swarthmore Elmore prize for thesis work on Spheromak equilibria. Previous research included Thomson scattering measurement of driven waves in inertial confinement fusion plasmas (1997-99, LLNL), wave mixing (1999, Polymath), small aspect Tokamaks (1995, Princeton/U. of Wisconsin), and nonlinear optics (1993-95).