Protactinium Production in Leading Thorium Fuel Cycles

Eva
SPEAKER:
Dr. Eva C. Uribe
senior systems research analyst at Sandia National Laboratories
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 04/09/2021 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
zoom
SPRING 2021 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Nuclear power from thorium fuel cycles is being explored around the world to extend uranium resource and to reduce the quantity of long-lived nuclear waste generated by civilian nuclear power production. Significant research and development efforts towards fuel cycles using thorium as the primary fertile material in place of uranium have occurred in India, Canada (Thorium Power), China (SINAP), Norway (ThorEnergy), the United States (Flibe, Thorcon), and elsewhere. Protactinium-233 is produced during the neutron irradiation of thorium-232 in a nuclear reactor. Protactinium-233 is a precursor to uranium-233, where uranium-233 is an accountable nuclear material under international nuclear safeguards. Currently, there are no conceptual approaches for monitoring and verifying protactinium-233 during thorium irradiation and spent fuel reprocessing. This presentation will describe a collaboration between researchers at Sandia National Laboratories and Oak Ridge National Laboratory to identify leading thorium fuel cycle candidates and to quantify protactinium production rates in those fuel cycles. Eva Uribe is an alumna of the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium, and she will also provide a brief overview of her early career since graduating from UC Berkeley.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Eva C. Uribe is a senior systems research analyst at Sandia National Laboratories. As a systems analyst, she teams across disciplines to provide unbiased and objective information and frameworks for decisionmakers to understand the risks, benefits, and unintended consequences of options within complex national security landscapes. Her current portfolio includes projects in advanced nuclear fuel cycle safeguards, spent nuclear fuel reprocessing, nuclear deterrence, nuclear nonproliferation, and cyber systems analysis. Prior to joining the laboratory in 2017, she was a Stanton Nuclear Security postdoctoral fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University, where she investigated the implications of advanced spent fuel reprocessing capabilities in thorium fuel cycles on nuclear nonproliferation and the international safeguards regime. Eva graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Ph.D. in chemistry in 2016. She conducted her graduate research as an affiliate of the Heavy Element Nuclear and Radiochemistry Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Her dissertation focused on understanding the interaction between aqueous actinide and lanthanide species and organically-modified, high-surface area mesoporous silica materials, using solid-phase nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. She also collaborated with the Goldman School of Public Policy to conduct policy analysis on the use of cross-domain deterrence in American foreign policy. Eva graduated from Yale University in 2011 with a B.S. in chemistry and a double major in political science. She was a Next Generation Safeguards Initiative intern in the Nonproliferation Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the summers of 2008 and 2009.

University-National Lab Collaborations in Nuclear Engineering: From Research to Workforce

Bakhtian - INL photo
SPEAKER:
Dr. Noël Bakhtian
Executive Director of the Berkeley Lab Energy Storage Center at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 03/19/2021 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
zoom
SPRING 2021 Colloquium Series
Abstract:
The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) is a consortium bringing together the Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory and the four public research universities of Idaho and Wyoming. This talk will give insight into the opportunities for collaboration existing between universities and national labs, using examples from the newly approved vision, mission, and strategy at CAES - from summer visiting faculty programs to joint certificates.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Noël Bakhtian is Executive Director of the Berkeley Lab Energy Storage Center at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. She was previously a member of the Senior Leadership Team at DOE's Idaho National Laboratory as director of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), and provided congressional testimony on energy workforce challenges and opportunities in 2018. Formerly, Dr. Bakhtian served as a senior policy adviser for environment and energy in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and served as the inaugural lead for the energy-water nexus at DOE's Office of International Affairs. Dr. Bakhtian earned her engineering doctorate at Stanford University’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; holds master’s degrees from Stanford University and the University of Cambridge, where she was a Churchill Scholar; and completed her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and physics at Duke University. Dr. Bakhtian serves as a member of the National Academies Board on Science, Technology, and Economic Policy; and as a board member for the Institute for the Quantitative Study of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. She is a Professor of the Practice at Boise State University.

Electrification in Metals and Mining: One Path Forward?

AA
SPEAKER:
Antoine Allanore
Associate Professor of Metallurgy in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 03/12/2021 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
Zoom
Spring 2021 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Metals and minerals remain at the basis of modern society and their affordable and
environmentally respectable extraction and recycling is required. A global population of 9 billion
people by 2050 and global issues such as greenhouse gas emissions provide unique opportunities
for the deployment of new technologies for metals extraction and processing. Anticipating
affordability and deployment of sustainable electric power generation [1], the electrification and
intensification of metals and mining industry processes is becoming a possibility. This seminar
starts with reporting a methodology and analysis of existing extraction processes (e.g., mining
and pyrometallurgy of copper sulfides, ironmaking, and aluminium electrolysis) from an
electricity and cost standpoint. In a second time, the results are used to put forth a set of metrics
for alternative technologies based on electricity [2,3,4]. Finally, results for process scale-up in
molten oxides [4] and sulfides [5,6] are reviewed, highlighting the recent acceleration toward
industrial demonstration.
[1] A. Allanore, Contribution of Electricity to Materials Processing: Historical and Current Perspectives, JOM,
65(2), 131, (2013)
[2] A. Allanore, Electrochemical Engineering for Commodity Metals Extraction, Electrochem. Soc. Interface, vol.
26, issue 2, 63-68, (2017)
[3] C. Stinn and A. Allanore, Estimating the Capital Costs of Electrowinning Process, Interface, vol. 29, 44-49,
(2020)
[4] A. Allanore, Features and Challenges of Molten Oxide Electrolytes for Metal Extraction, Journal of the
Electrochemical Society, 162(1), 13-22, (2015)
[5] A. Allanore, L. Yin & D. R. Sadoway, A New Anode Material for Oxygen Evolution in Molten Oxide
Electrolysis. Nature, 497(7449), 353–356, (2013)
[6] S. Sokhanvaran, S.-K. Lee, G. Lambotte & A. Allanore, Electrochemistry of Molten Sulfides: Copper Extraction
from BaS-Cu2S. Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 163(3), 115–120, (2016)
[7] S. Sahu, B. Chmielowiec & A. Allanore, Electrolytic Extraction of Copper, Molybdenum and Rhenium from
Molten Sulfide Electrolyte, Electrochimica Acta, vol. 243, 382-389 (2017)

About the Speaker:
Antoine Allanore is Associate Professor of Metallurgy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA). After several years of service with ArcelorMittal working on GHG-reduction in the steel industry, he teaches metallurgy in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering, and conducts research on sustainable metals and minerals processing . Prof. Allanore earned his engineering degree from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Industries Chimiques (ENSIC, Nancy, France), and MSc. and PhD from University of Lorraine (France). He was awarded the TMS DeNora Prize in 2012, recognizing outstanding contributions to the reduction of environmental impacts, especially focused on extractive processing, and TMS Early Career Faculty Award in 2015.

DESIGN AND MODELING CHALLENGES OF NUCLEAR THERMAL PROPULSION SYSTEMS

DanK
SPEAKER: Kotlyar Dan, Assistant Professor
Nuclear and Radiological
Office: (404) 385-5372, dan.kotlyar@me.gatech.edu
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 03/5/2021 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
zoom
Spring 2021 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Dr. Kotlyar has established a sustainable research program in the field of advanced nuclear reactor design and multiphysics analysis. His Computational Reactor Engineering Laboratory (CoRE) focuses on developing the next generation production tools as well as designing advanced and low cost nuclear energy systems. In this talk he will cover the design aspects and modeling challenges associated with Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) systems. Nuclear thermal propulsion is a potential technology for future crewed missions to Mars due to its high thrust, and high specific impulse (Isp). This technology is expected to enable reduced interplanetary travel times, which could increase the crew's safety by reducing exposure to cosmic radiation and other hazards of deep space travel. BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT) is working with NASA to develop critical reactor fuel technologies and mature the design of a low-enriched uranium engine. Dr. Dan Kotlyar’s research group is working with BWXT to support further research in NTP technology by developing a computational multiphysics framework that will allow a better understanding of the operational limits, reliability, and associated safety margins of the engine. Many of NTP design challenges are born from satisfying both the Isp and thrust to weight ratio requirements while ensuring adequate excess reactivity for the entire engine lifetime. In order to overcome these challenges multiphysics tools are required to accurately predict the core power distribution which is impacted through various phenomena.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Dan Kotlyar is an Assistant Professor in the Nuclear and Radiological Engineering, G.W.W. School of Mechanical Engineering. He received his B.Sc. in Engineering in 2008, MSc in Nuclear Engineering in 2010, and PhD in Nuclear Engineering in 2013 from Ben-Gurion University, Israel. In 2014, he joined the University of Cambridge as a Research Associate in the Engineering Design Center. In 2014, he was elected as a Research Fellow at Jesus College. He is the recipient of the NRC Faculty Development Fellowship. Dr. Kotlyar’s research interests include development of numerical methods and algorithms for coupled Monte Carlo, fuel depletion and thermal hydraulic codes. In particular, he specializes in applying these methods to the analysis of advanced reactor systems. Dr. Kotlyar’s research also focuses on optimizing the performance of various fuel cycles in terms of fuel utilization, proliferation, and cost. Dr. Kotlyar’s group is actively engaged to support the nuclear industry with modeling and simulation challenges related to advanced concepts. Dr. Kotlyar profoundly believes in education through research and thus integrates practical reactor system design into his lectures.

NuScale Power – A Scalable Clean Energy Solution

Jose Reyes photo 2018
SPEAKER:
José N. Reyes, Jr.
Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 02/26/2021 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
VIA ZOOM
SPRING 2021 Colloquium Series
Abstract:
Recent studies show that the addition of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) to the renewable energy mix offers the least cost path to achieving clean energy mandates. NuScale Power has developed and received NRC approval for its SMR technology with customers seeking to deploy the technology within this decade. The potential for hydrogen production as part of a NuScale Integrated Energy System provides an exciting opportunity for carbon reductions in both the industrial and transportation section. This presentation provides an overview of the NuScale technology and its path to commercialization.
About the Speaker:

José N. Reyes, Jr., P.E., Nuclear Engineering Ph.D. and M.S. Univ. of Maryland, B.S. Univ. of Florida is the Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of NuScale Power. He is co-inventor of the NuScale small modular reactor with over 110 patents granted or pending in 20 countries. He is an expert on nuclear plant scaling, passive safety, and testing. He is Professor Emeritus and former head of the Dept. of Nuclear Engineering at Oregon State University. He is an ANS Fellow and Member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Personalized Cancer Radiotherapy Through In Vivo Sensing

anwar_m.website
SPEAKER:

Mekhail Anwar, MD PhD

Associate Professor, Radiation Oncology

profiles.ucsf.edu/mekhail.anwar | anwarlab.ucsf.edu

mekhail.anwar@ucsf.edu

DATE/TIME:
FRI, 02/19/2021 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
via zoom
Spring 2021 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

We will discuss how to personalize cancer therapy through the development of new integrated circuit-based platforms for detecting both the delivery of charged particle therapy (CPT).

 

Real-time in vivo dosimetry - at the single particle level - holds the key to unlocking the power of personalized theranostics with both 𝛼 and β particles and the precision of proton therapy. The impact of theranostics using Lu177 - a β emitter -  is already being felt across neuroendocrine and prostate cancers.  Notably, 𝛼 particles deposit over 100X more energy over just 50 µm - making them a much more powerful - and potentially preciscse - therapeutic. However, this enthusiasm is tempered by the highly variable biodistribution making in vivo dosimetry essential to safe, personalized delivery.  Similarly, range uncertainty is a major limiting factor in precision targeting of charged particle therapy, and would benefit from real-time in vivo dosimetry.  To address these dual challenges, we have developed SENTRI - a mm2 chip capable of single CPT measurements from within tissue - and will discuss how efforts to fuse proton therapy and personalized theranostics can improve outcomes in patients with aggressive cancers.

About the Speaker:

Mekhail Anwar is a Physician-Scientist and Associate Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), focusing on developing microfabricated sensors and computer chip technology (‘integrated circuits’ or ICs) for cancer detection within the body.  Educated at UC Berkeley in Physics, he completed his MD at UC San Francisco, and went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where his Ph.D. in electrical engineering focused on using ICs for biosensing. He returned to complete his residency in Radiation Oncology at UCSF and continued as faculty, where he earned the DOD Prostate Cancer Research Program Physician Award for his work in cancer imaging.  He is the recipient of the NIH Trailblazer Award for developing chip-scale imagers for cancer and was recently awarded the NIH (DP2) New Innovator Award for in vivo imaging of immunotherapy response.

Nuclear Landscapes: planning for nuclear waste disposal using cultural heritage thinking

JoycePhoto
SPEAKER:
Rosemary Joyce
Professor of Anthropology
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 02/12/2021 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
ZOOM
Spring 2021 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The global nuclear industry has for decades used sites like Stonehenge as models for designs for long-term markers to be placed over nuclear waste repositories to ensure they are not violated in distant, imagined futures. In the US, the resulting proposal would produce a pre-formed archaeological site, a ruin that would qualify for listing as a World Heritage site in the future. This talk questions the way planners thought about materials and human intentions from the perspective of an archaeological sensibility on how materials endure and decay and what people in the past expected would happen when they created the structures we recognize as monuments today.

About the Speaker:

Rosemary Joyce received the PhD from the University of Illinois-Urbana in 1985, based archaeological fieldwork in Caribbean Honduras. A curator and faculty member in anthropology at Harvard University from 1985 to 1994, she moved to the University of California, Berkeley in 1994, initiating new archaeological fieldwork in Honduras on the emergence of settled farming villages before 1500 BC. This began her explorations of the liveliness of geological materials, and the intentions of people in the past when they built features today seen as monuments. She is the author of ten books, the latest The Future of Nuclear Waste: What Art and Archaeology Can Tell Us About Securing the World’s Most Hazardous Material (2020, Oxford University Press).

Design and Development of High Spatial Resolution Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Systems

SPEAKER:
Craig Levin
Professor of Radiology, and, by Courtesy, of Physics, Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering, Stanford University
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 02/5/2021 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
zoom
Spring 2021 Colloquium Series
Abstract:PET imaging employs positron-emitting radionuclides to visualize and quantify the biology and chemistry of disease in living subjects.  There has been great interest to enhance the spatial resolution of PET imaging to be able to detect subtle signatures of disease, which can enable earlier disease detection and more sensitive monitoring of therapeutic strategies. PET imaging relies on detection and positioning of 511 keV annihilation photon pairs emitted from the imaging subject. In this talk we will describe technologies and techniques that are employed to achieve sub-millimeter spatial resolution.
About the Speaker:

Dr. Craig Levin is a Professor in the Department of Radiology with courtesy appointments in the Departments of Physics, Electrical Engineering, and Bioengineering at Stanford University. He is a founding Member of the Molecular Imaging Program at Stanford (MIPS), and faculty member of the Stanford’s Bio-X Program, Cancer Institute, Cardiovascular Institute, and Neurosciences Institute. He is director and PI of the NIH-NCI funded Stanford Molecular Imaging Scholars (SMIS) post-doctoral training program, and Co-Director of the Stanford Center for Innovation in In Vivo Imaging (SCI^3). Dr. Levin’s also directs a 25-member research laboratory whose research interests are to explore new concepts in imaging instrumentation and computational algorithms for advancing our ability to visualize and quantify molecular and cellular pathways of disease in living subjects. To support this work he has received numerous grants from NIH, DOE, DOD, NSF, industrial sponsorship from companies such as GE, Siemens, and Philips, as well as research awards from numerous non-profit foundations.  Dr. Levin has over 170 peer-reviewed publications and 26 awarded patents.

Chemical and Electrochemical Studies in Molten Fluoride Salts

Chemical and Electrochemical Studies in Molten Fluoride Salts

       

Raluca O. Scarlat

Nuclear Engineering Department, UC Berkeley

Molten fluoride salts are ionic liquids that are employed in nuclear reactors as coolant or nuclear fuel solvents. 2LiF-BeF2 (FLiBe) is an ionic liquid that is of particular interest for application in nuclear reactors due to its neutronic properties. While the fluoride salts are ionic liquids, the beryllium constituent is known to form partly covalent associates with the fluorine, leading for formation of complex ions in the ionic melt. The implications of this complexation on the chemical and thermophysical properties of the salt are only partly understood. This talk will provide examples of unexpected observations in molten fluoride salts relevant to nuclear applications, including reactions of FLiBe with hydrogen.

Bio

Raluca Scarlat is an assistant professor at UC Berkeley, in the Department of Nuclear Engineering. Professor Scarlat has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from UC Berkeley and a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Cornell University. Raluca Scarlat’s research focuses on chemistry, electrochemistry and physical chemistry of high-temperature inorganic fluids and their application to energy systems. She has experience in design and  safety analysis of fluoride-salt-cooled high-temperature reactors (FHRs) and Molten Salt Reactors (MSRs), and high-temperature gas cooled reactors (HTGRs). Her research includes safety analysis and design of nuclear reactors and engineering ethics.

The Essential Role of Universities in Advanced Reactor Deployment

Dr. Kathryn D. Huff is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Abstract:
Many University TRTRs were shut down in the 1980s & 1990s as student enrollments waned. In the 2000s, student enrollment in nuclear engineering and enthusiasm for carbon-free nuclear energy has rebounded mightily, but no new university TRTRs have been built in nearly 30 years. Simultaneous with this widening gap in hands-on training, unprecedented federal funding to demonstrate and commercialize advanced reactors has been distributed to companies promising a bright future for advanced nuclear energy. But, in this future, who will objectively test these reactors, train their operators, educate their reactor engineers, and improve the technology through innovative experiments?
In this talk, I'll suggest that universities remain poised to play many of these roles in the future of next-generation nuclear reactor deployment and university campuses are uniquely suited for early deployments. We at UIUC envision a next-generation university test, research, and training reactor that could underpin advanced reactor commercialization toward national leadership in a clean, sustainable energy future. Our vision for the deployment of a next-generation university TRTR aims to amplify the profound expertise at campuses in research, education, and power production to address the urgent need for advanced reactor prototype testing as well as next-generation research toward integration with carbon-free energy technologies. I will describe a vision of the future in which universities and their research can and must play a significant role in prototype testing next-generation reactors, support commercial licensing and deployment, conduct operations research, drive innovations in associated technologies, and train a next-generation workforce to operate and maintain these next-generation devices.
About the Speaker:

Dr. Kathryn D. Huff is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she leads the Advanced Reactors and Fuel Cycles Research Group.  She is additionally a Blue Waters Assistant Professor with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. She was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow in both the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium and the Berkeley Institute for Data Science at the University of California - Berkeley. She received her PhD in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013 and her undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Chicago.  Her current research focuses on modeling and simulation of advanced nuclear reactors and fuel cycles. She is an active member of the American Nuclear Society, vice-chair of the Nuclear Nonproliferation and Policy Division, a past chair of the Fuel Cycle and Waste Management Division, and recipient of both the Young Member Excellence and Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women's Achievement awards. Through leadership within Software Carpentry, SciPy, the Hacker Within, and the Journal of Open Source Software she also advocates for best practices in open, reproducible scientific computing.