Long-lived radionuclides from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, and consequences for Pacific ecosystems and seafood consumers

fisher
SPEAKER:
Nicholas Fisher
Distinguished Professor
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 10/28/2022 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2022 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

After the Fukushima accident in March 2011, marine organisms, seawater and sediment were contaminated with both 134Cs and 137Cs that was released into coastal waters. We analyzed radionuclides in Pacific biota, including plankton, diverse invertebrates, and pelagic and benthic fish. Field data (~41,000 data points) showed temporal declines of 137Cs levels were >10x lower in benthic than pelagic fish, reflecting 137Cs declines in sediments and seawater, consistent with lab studies showing benthic fish acquiring 137Cs from benthic invertebrate diets. Bluefin tuna that spawn near Japan and migrate to waters off California were contaminated with Fukushima-derived radiocesium that they obtained from Japanese waters. The consequent risk to seafood consumers was assessed and compared to that from naturally occurring radionuclides.

About the Speaker:

I am a marine biogeochemist who has focused on the bioaccumulation of diverse contaminants in marine organisms. This research has considered the impacts of this bioaccumulation on organisms and public health, and has also considered the influence of organisms on the cycling and fate of the contaminants. Most of this work has involved metals and long-lived radionuclides. I received a BA from Brandeis University, and a PhD from Stony Brook, I was a postdoctoral investigator at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, after which I worked for a government lab in Melbourne Australia, the IAEA Lab in Monaco, the Brookhaven National Lab, and Stony Brook University (since 1988).

Multi-scale multi-physics requirements for space reactors

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SPEAKER:
Vedant K. Mehta, Ph.D.
R&D Engineer
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 10/14/2022 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2022 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Next-gen small nuclear reactors or microreactors are gaining significant attention due to their utilization extending to civilian, military, and space applications. A few of the unique features that distinguish these reactors from current fleet of commercial power plant reactors is their use of high-assay low enriched uranium (HALEU) fuel, newer materials, and their compact size. These special purpose reactors are aiming to be flight-ready, transportable, and self-regulating to be used for both remote (solo) and hybrid sites in conjunction with renewables. For space applications, nuclear reactors are aiming to propel a spacecraft to distant objects in the solar system and beyond, in addition to producing power for Lunar or Martian crew habitats and machine operations. To achieve next-generation space architecture goals, several engineering hurdles must be resolved. In this talk, we will be discussing the research, design, and development of next-gen nuclear reactors with a focus on multi-scale multi-physics simulations.

 

About the Speaker:

Dr. Vedant Mehta is a computational multiphysicist in the Nuclear Engineering and Non-proliferation division at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. His focus is on designing and understanding advanced moderated reactors for numerous applications. He is enhancing high-fidelity multi-scale multi-physics tools to accurately predict reactor performance during normal and off-normal conditions. He is the inventor and principal developer of MARM software suite. His tools are being utilized by several national programs including NASA, industry and DoD.

Jake Hecla attending international meeting in Poland to discuss situation in Ukraine

Jake Hecla attending international meeting in Poland to discuss situation in Ukraine

October 10th, 2022

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Jake Hecla (on the left) and the participants of the “Environmental Radioactivity Risks in Ukraine” conference.

Jake Hecla, one of our graduate students in the Department of Nuclear Engineering attended the international meeting on “Environmental Radioactivity Risks in Ukraine” last week (5-6 Oct.), organized by Japanese, Polish, and Ukrainian institutions. The goal of this meeting was to assemble experts in radiological measurements and modeling to discuss ongoing research in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (ChEZ), the impact of the ongoing war, and the establishment of state-of-the art monitoring capabilities.

From Ukraine, representatives from the State Agency of Ukraine of Exclusion Zone Management and the Ukraine Academy of Science’s Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants (ISPNPP) provided their perspectives on the current situation in ChEZ and more broadly in Ukraine including the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).

Jake Hecla presented on “3D Mapping and Visualization of Radioactive Sources” comprising the advanced technologies developed at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to create three-dimensional maps of radiological contamination in near real time from a wide range of platforms including ground robots or small unmanned aerial systems. Jake, other graduate students and LBNL scientists have been able to demonstrate the so-called Scene Data Fusion technology over the last 10 years in the contaminated areas of Fukushima in Japan and in Chernobyl, specifically within the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) and its surrounding including the evacuated city of Pripyat.

Ukrainian participants of this meeting expressed strong interest in utilizing the Berkeley-developed 3D mapping capabilities for the assessment and monitoring of structural and radiological components within the New Safe Confinement or New Shelter, for example related to the large amounts of remaining nuclear fuel containing materials but also in the mapping of the vast outdoor environments within ChEZ and its border.

We hope to be able to find ways to provide these technologies to Ukraine very soon and to allow the utilization of the latest mapping and visualization technologies to effectively and safely assess and monitor the nuclear facilities and associated activities in and around ChNPP but also in and around ZNPP and more broadly, in response to any intentional or accidental event resulting in the release of large amounts of radioactive materials. Gamma Reality Inc. has recently commercialized the SDF technologies and would be able to provide systems to our Ukrainian partners.

The SPARC Toroidal Field Model Coil and the high-field path to fusion energy

Hartwig
SPEAKER:
Zach Hartwig
The Robert N. Noyce Career Development Professor and Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 10/07/2022 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
Webinar
Fall 2022 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Recent advances in high field superconducting magnet technology have opened a pathway to achieving fusion energy on accelerated timescales that could enable fusion to play a role in combating global climate change. This talk will give an overview of the "high field path" to fusion energy and an in-depth look at a major achievement that forms a key technological cornerstone of this approach: the test of a first-of-kind, representative scale, 20 tesla superconducting magnet completed in the fall of 2021 by MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center and Commonwealth Fusion Systems.

About the Speaker:

Zachary (Zach) Hartwig is the Robert N. Noyce Career Development Professor at MIT and an Associate Professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) with a co-appointment at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center (PSFC). He has worked primarily in the areas of large-scale applied superconductivity, magnetic fusion device design, and plasma-material interactions. He is a co-founder of Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS), a private company commercializing fusion energy. He received his PhD from MIT NSE in 2013 and received his B.A. in Physics from Boston University in 2005.

Online monitoring capabilities for harsh environments

Shirmir Branch_Photo
SPEAKER:
Shirmir D. Branch
Chemist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 09/30/2022 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2022 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The application of online monitoring to harsh environments, such as nuclear waste streams or molten
salt reactors, presents the potential to enhance fundamental processes while significantly reducing
operation cost, risk, and time. Optical spectroscopy as an online monitoring tool serves as a rapid, non-
destructive method to accurately analyze, predict, and control chemical processes in a variety of
matrices. When applied to molten salt reactors, online monitoring can provide key fundamental
information that includes not only total concentration of target analytes, but also factors such as
oxidation state and speciation, which gives valuable and continuous insight into process conditions. This
capability serves as a powerful tool throughout the nuclear fuel cycle, which aids in meeting the needs
of next generation renewable energy.

About the Speaker:

Shirmir D. Branch is a Staff Chemist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Her current
work as PNNL is in research and development in Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry. Her research
interests include electrophoretic separations; the development of robust electrode sensor materials;
electroanalytical and spectroelectrochemical characterization in various harsh environments, including
molten salts. She completed her PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati in 2018.
She traveled to PNNL in 2015 to complete research for her degree in the development of harsh
environment spectroelectrochemical sensors and became a staff scientist in 2018. Shirmir is also
volunteers with the American Chemical Society, as an executive committee member with the Richland
Local Section and with American Nuclear Society, as an executive committee member in the Nuclear
Fuel Cycle & Waste Management Division.

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Emerging Applications in Materials Science and Advanced Manufacturing at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

M. Matthews
SPEAKER:
Manyalibo J. Matthews, Ph.D.
Division Leader, Materials Science Division
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 09/23/2022 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2022 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) defines severe accidents as “Accident conditions more severe than a design basis accident and involving significant core degradation”.  Fukushima-Daiichi, Chernobyl, and Three Mile Island are well known examples, but there have actually been at least 19 such accidents. The speaker has researched and summarized these events for the IAEA and in a report for the Electric Power Research Institute. This talk will give a short overview of these severe accidents and lessons learned..

About the Speaker:

Manyalibo Matthews is the Division Leader for the Materials Science Division within the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate. His expertise includes laser materials processing, laser-matter interaction science, process optimization of advanced manufacturing, and high-speed in situ characterization methods.

Prior to his current role, Dr. Matthews served as Group Leader in the Materials Science Division and Program Group Leader for the Laser Material Interaction Group in the National Ignition Facility and Photon Science organization.

Before joining the Laboratory, Dr. Matthews was a member of the Technical Staff at Bell Laboratories, focusing on optical microspectroscopy and managing projects aimed at developing Passive Optical Network prototypes.

Dr. Matthews is currently a co-organizer for the Materials Research Society and Materials Science and Technology symposiums, a member of the Academic Advisory Board at Norfolk State University, and a Fellow of the Optical Society of America.

APT study of radiation-induced segregation ferritic/martensitic steels after irradiation with high-energy protons and spallation neutrons

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SPEAKER:
Yong Dai
Laboratory for Nuclear Materials, Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 09/16/2018 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2022 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Ferritic/martensitic (FM) and ODS steels have been extensively studied in various fission and fusion material R&D projects around the world. These steels are also candidate structural materials for high power spallation targets. Over the past two decades, a large number FM and ODS steels have been irradiated in a wide range of doses and temperatures in the targets of the Swiss Spallation Neutron Source (SINQ), with spectra of mixed high-energy protons and spallation neutrons. A large body of mechanical testing and transmission electron microscopy have been carried out. The results show that the mechanical properties and microstructures of SINQ-irradiated FM steels are quite different from those of steels irradiated with fission neutrons at doses above about 10 dpa. To better understand the irradiation-induced microstructural and chemical evolution, atom probe tomography studies were conducted on F82H, Eurofer 97 and ODS Eurofer steels irradiated to doses up to 20 dpa at temperatures up to 500°C. Topics include: 1) Radiation-induced segregation at grain boundaries of low and high angles, 2) Radiation-induced formation and evolution of nanoparticles, and 3) Spallation products and associated microstructures. In this talk, the major results will be presented.

About the Speaker:

Yong Dai is a senior scientist at the Nuclear Materials Laboratory of the Paul Scherer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland, and an associate editor of Elsevier's Journal of Nuclear Materials. In 1995 he received his Ph.D. at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne. He has been with PSI since 1995 and led a team working on materials related to spallation neutron sources. He is responsible for irradiation experiments on targets at the Swiss Spallation Neutron Source (SINQ), in which about 20 international institutes and universities have participated. His research work focuses on the effects of radiation damage, helium, hydrogen and liquid metals on various structural materials and pure metals.

Applying chemical biology to expand the range of actionable targets for nuclear medicine applications

evans_michael_j (3)
SPEAKER:
Dr. Michael Evans
Associate Professor in Residence, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 09/09/2022 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
Webinar
Fall 2022 Colloquium Series

 

About the Speaker:

Michael Evans, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Residence in the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. He is a chemical biologist with an interest in biomarker discovery with proteomics, nuclear medicine, theranostics, and molecular imaging. Dr. Evans earned a BA in Chemistry from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and he obtained his PhD in Organic Chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute (CA) under the supervision of Professor Benjamin Cravatt. This was followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Imaging from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York under the supervision of Professors Charles Sawyers and Jason Lewis. In 2013, Dr. Evans accepted a faculty position at UCSF. Dr. Evans has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles, 40 meeting abstracts, and is a co-inventor on 8 patents pending or issued. Dr. Evans also is the principal investigator or co-PI on several human trials focused on new strategies for imaging tumors. He is a scientific co-founder and previously served on the scientific advisory board of ORIC Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and is a scientific co-founder of Suba Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Evans has been recognized with numerous honors, including a Young Investigator Award from the Prostate Cancer Foundation, a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award from the National Cancer Institute, a Research Scholar Award from the American Cancer Society, and he was a 2020 inductee to the Council of Distinguished Investigators by the Academy of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging Research.

Making Sense of Nuclear Infrastructure Risks in Ukraine

Jake
SPEAKER:
Jake Hecla
PhD candidate in the Department of
Nuclear Engineering at the University of California
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 08/26/2022 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2022 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is the first war in which nuclear powerplants and waste management areas have been a major focus of military conflict. In this presentation, we will go over the nuclear infrastructure existing in Ukraine, and describe risks posed by the invasion as well as the damages already incurred. Special attention will be paid to current events at Zaporizhzhia NPP. We will conclude by discussing efforts by UC Berkeley students to provide equipment to colleagues at Ukrainian nuclear facilities.

About the Speaker:

Jake Hecla is a PhD candidate in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley where he holds a Nuclear Science and Security Consortium fellowship. His work focuses on the development of detection technologies for nuclear nonproliferation. Currently, his research focuses on neutrino detection for nonproliferation, and applications of coded-aperture imaging for radiation mapping. He earned an undergraduate degree in nuclear science and engineering from MIT in 2017, where he focused on technologies for arms control and verification. Hecla additionally works as a scientific advisor to Clean Futures Fund, a nonprofit pursuing projects in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone.

Anthony J. Konecni, MEng ’22 (NE): “Energy is a big deal.”

Anthony J. Konecni, MEng ’22 (NE): “Energy is a big deal.”

February 23, 2022

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Anthony J. Konecni is a current Berkeley MEng student studying Nuclear Engineering (NE). Here he shares his experience as a full-time US Coast Guard Reservist and his passion about energy and clean nuclear power. [read more]