New CAMPEP Accreditation of Graduate Program in Medical Physics

New CAMPEP Accreditation of Graduate Program in Medical Physics

August 22, 2023

Our Nuclear Engineering graduate program has recently received the CAMPEP accreditation for medical physics. The new track within the doctoral program – implemented jointly with the Department of Radiation Oncology at UC San Francisco – allows our student to obtain a certification to enroll in medical physics residency programs in the U.S. and to pursue a career in medical physics. This new track - as the only CAMPEP accredited track at UC Berkeley - offers exciting professional opportunities in an ever more important field in the U.S. and around the world. More information can be found here.

“Future Directions for Nuclear Energy”

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SPEAKER:
Per F. Peterson
Distinguished Professor
William and Jean McCallum Floyd Endowed Chair
Department of Nuclear Engineering
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 04/14/2023 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2023 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Fission energy is currently the largest source of zero-carbon electrical power in the United States, but expanded use has stalled due to high construction costs, long schedules, and lack of policies that credit the low carbon emissions from nuclear power. This talk will broadly review questions relevant to the future use of fission power, including challenges to achieving deep decarbonization without nuclear, cost drivers for fission energy, options for advanced reactor technology, and management of nuclear wastes.

About the Speaker:

Per F. Peterson is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also Chief Nuclear Officer for Kairos Power, where he guides nuclear technology review and advises on scientific and technical topics for KP-FHR technology development and licensing. At UC Berkeley he performs research related to high-temperature fission energy systems, as well as studying topics related to the safety and security of nuclear materials and waste management.

Ab Astris ad Terram, ad Astra Iterum: Radiation Effects Engineering – An Overview

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SPEAKER:
Greg Allen
Senior Radiation Effects Engineer, Center for Space Radiation Lead
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 02/17/2023 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2023 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Radiation effects engineering is a highly multidisciplinary, rapidly growing field within the aerospace industry. NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Greg Allen will be discussing the fundamentals of the field, focusing on Single Event Effects and the importance of accelerators such as LBNL’s 88” BASE facility to the success of NASA’s missions from the upcoming Europa Clipper to the Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity.

About the Speaker:

Greg Allen received a BS in Computer Engineering from CSU Chico in 2005 and joined JPL’s Radiation Effects Group after graduating. A recognized team leader in the Radiation Effects group at JPL as well as the radiation effects community, Greg has provided radiation effects support for dozens of NASA missions and tiger team efforts since 2005, providing flight programs electronic device and system level radiation effects analysis and mitigation strategies. Greg received NASA’s coveted Outstanding Leadership Award, is a Senior IEEE member, and has held many conference positions at the Nuclear Science Radiation Effects Conference and currently sits on the conference Steering Group. In addition to Greg’s responsibilities as the Center for Space Radiation co-lead, he is the Radiation Effects Group Lead and Single Event Effects Test Lead.

Overview of INL RELAP5-3D system code and examples of application to reactor analysis.

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SPEAKER:
Dr. Paolo BALESTRA
ART-GCR Methods Lead
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 02/10/2023 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2023 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

RELAP5-3D is the latest in the RELAP5 code series developed at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) for the analysis of transients and accidents in water–cooled nuclear power plants and related systems as well as the analysis of advanced reactor designs. The RELAP5–3D code is an outgrowth of the one-dimensional RELAP5/MOD3 code developed at INL. The most prominent attribute that distinguishes RELAP5–3D from its predecessors is the fully integrated, multi-dimensional thermal-hydraulic and kinetic modeling capability. In this talk we will go through some of these features and how they are used to perform reactor transient analysis. Modelling approaches and results from some of the recent activities performed at INL will be presented.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Paolo BALESTRA obtained his Ph.D. in energy and environment with focus on nuclear engineering in the 2017 at the “La Sapienza” University of Rome. He is currently working at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) as lead of the methods of the Advanced Reactor Technology - Gas Cooled Reactor (ART-GCR) DoE Program and managing the High Temperature Gas cooled Reactor multiphysics area of the Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation (NEAMS) program. His current research efforts focus on development, Verification and Validation (V&V) of advanced Modelling and Simulation (M&S) tools for design and safety assessment of advanced reactor technology.

Global Famine after Nuclear War

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SPEAKER:
Professor Alan Robock
Department of Environmental Sciences
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ, USA
http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/nuclear/
E-mail: robock@envsci.rutgers.edu
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 02/03/2023 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2023 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

 The world as we know it could end any day as a result of an accidental nuclear war between the United States and Russia. The fires produced by attacks on cities and industrial areas would generate smoke that would blow around the world, persist for years, and block out sunlight, producing a nuclear winter. Because temperatures would plunge below freezing, crops would die and massive starvation could kill most of humanity. Even a nuclear war between new nuclear states, such as India and Pakistan, could produce climate change unprecedented in recorded human history and massive disruptions to the world’s food supply. In this talk Dr. Robock will show climate and crop model simulations, as well as analogs, that support this theory.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Alan Robock is a Distinguished Professor of climate science in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1970 with a B.A. in Meteorology, and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an S.M. in 1974 and Ph.D. in 1977, both in Meteorology. Before graduate school, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. He was a professor at the University of Maryland, 1977-1997, and the State Climatologist of Maryland, 1991-1997, before coming to Rutgers in 1998. Prof. Robock has published more than 490 articles on his research in the area of climate change, including more than 280 peer-reviewed papers. His areas of expertise include climate intervention (also called geoengineering), climatic effects of nuclear war, and effects of volcanic eruptions on climate. He serves as Associate Editor of Reviews of Geophysics, the most highly-cited journal in the Earth Sciences. His honors include being a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a recipient of the AMS Jule Charney Medal. Prof. Robock was a Lead Author of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007). In 2017 the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its groundbreaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons” based partly on the work of Prof. Robock. In 2022, Prof. Robock was a winner of the Future of Life Award, “For reducing the risk of nuclear war by developing and popularizing the science of nuclear winter.”

Planetary nuclear spectroscopy

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SPEAKER:
Mauricio Ayllon Unzueta
NASA Postdoctoral Fellow (NPP)
DATE/TIME:
FRI, 01/19/2023 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2023 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Planetary nuclear spectroscopy is a blanket term used to describe gamma ray and neutron spectroscopy of planetary surfaces. Spectrometers of this kind are able to measure the bulk elemental composition of a planetary object from different platforms such as orbiters and landers. In this talk, I will give an overview of planetary nuclear spectroscopy and some of its challenges with a focus on the NASA New Frontiers Mission Dragonfly, which will visit Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, in 2034.

About the Speaker:

Mauricio Ayllon Unzueta is a postdoctoral fellow working for the astrochemistry group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Mauricio received his BS degree in Engineering Physics from Eastern Michigan University in 2012, then received his MSc degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 2015, and finally he got his PhD from the University of California Berkeley in 2020.

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

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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

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

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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.

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