The Berkeleyan Spotlight: Rebecca Abergel

Removing a potential MRI risk - literally

October 21, 2021

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Prof. Abergel had an article published in The Berkeleyan titled Removing a potential MRI risk - literally. 

"The first use of MRI to scan a patient’s body was in 1977. Today, more than 40 million MRI scans are carried out every year in the U.S. In about one out of three, patients get an infusion containing the metal gadolinium as a contrast agent to improve imaging.

But over the last 10 to 15 years, physicians have increasingly reported that contrast MRIs sometimes lead to potentially life-threatening complications, particularly in patients with certain types of kidney disease. The FDA issued a warning against contrast MRIs for patients with kidney disease." [read more]

Congratulations Professor Abergel

Max Fratoni selected for the UC Berkeley Faculty Leadership Academy

Max Fratoni selected for the UC Berkeley Faculty Leadership Academy 

November 17 , 2021

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Professor Max Fratoni was selected for the UC Berkeley Fall 2022 Faculty Leadership Academy. This multidisciplinary leadership development program is intended for tenured faculty who are interested in developing skills and knowledge for leadership on the Berkeley campus.

Find out more about the Faculty Leadership Academy: https://evcp.berkeley.edu/programs-resources/faculty-leadership-academy and its selections for the Fall 2022 cohort: https://evcp.berkeley.edu/fall-2022-faculty-leadership-academy-cohort.

Congratulations Professor Fratoni!

Kairos submits PSAR for Oak Ridge demonstration reactor

Kairos submits PSAR for Oak Ridge demonstration reactor

October 5th, 2021

A rendering of the Hermes demonstration plant at Oak Ridge (Image: Kairos Power)
A rendering of the Hermes demonstration plant at Oak Ridge (Image: Kairos Power)

World Nuclear News reported an update on Kairos' progress on constructing the Hermes low-power demonstration reactor in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. As a part of their construction permit application, the US company (co-founded by UCB Professor Per Peterson, Michael Laufer, and Edward Blandford), has submitted the preliminary safety analysis report (PSAR) for its fluoride salt-cooled, high-temperature reactor (KP-FHR) to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Kairos established a cooperative development agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority earlier this year, and will collaborate with Materion Corporation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and the Electric Power Research Institute on the development and demonstration for Hermes. The development is also supported over seven years by a US Department of Energy Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program cost-shared award.

World Nuclear News stated that along with Kairos, there are 6 other non-light water reactor designers that have formally notified the NRC of their intent to engage in regulatory interactions. Namely "General Atomics for the Energy Multiplier Module; X-Energy for the XE-100; TerraPower and GE Hitachi for the Natrium reactor; TerraPower for its Molten Chloride Fast Reactor; Westinghouse Electric Company for its eVinci micro reactor; and Terrestrial Energy USA for its Integral Molten Salt Reactor."

[Full World Nuclear News article here]

Raluca Scarlat awarded the ANS Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women’s Achievement Award

Raluca Scarlat awarded the ANS Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women’s Achievement Award

August 25th, 2021

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Professor Raluca Scarlat has been awarded the 2021 American Nuclear Society's Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women’s Achievement Award.

The American Nuclear Society's Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women’s Achievement Award recognizes the outstanding personal dedication and technical achievement by a woman for work she has performed in the fields of nuclear science, engineering, research or education.

Find out more about the Mary Jane Oestmann Professional Women’s Achievement Award here https://www.ans.org/honors/award-oestmann/. 

Congratulations Professor Scarlat!

 

Secretary of Energy Visits Kairos Power

Secretary of Energy Visits Kairos Power

August 21st, 2021

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On August 18, Kairos Power welcomed U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm and Senator Martin Heinrich at their KP-Southwest testing and manufacturing center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They were given a tour of the facilities following the Senate passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – a historic piece of legislation that includes investments in clean energy.

On their LinkedIn page they wrote

"We are grateful to be among community members, local leaders, and organizations whose efforts are recognized as positively supporting New Mexico’s clean energy transition and the nation’s decarbonization goals... We would like to extend gratitude to our KP-Southwest team members who worked with flexibility and grace this week to enable a very successful and exciting tour of our facilities."

Kairos currently has over 200 full-time team members and expect to creat at least 65 more high-skilled and high-paying jobs in Albuquerque to support major hardware demonstrations.

Later that week, DOE Secretary Granholm also paid the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) a visit. Kairos' Co-Founder and Chief Nuclear Officer, Professor Per Peterson (UC Berkeley, LBNL) commented, "It’s excellent to have strong policy support for clean energy including nuclear."

Similarly, the department celebrates this step towards more clean energy!

Tennessee Governor Lee and Commissioner Rolfe Announce Kairos Power to Establish Low-Power Demonstration Reactor ‘HERMES’ in Oak Ridge

Tennessee Governor Lee and Commissioner Rolfe Announce Kairos Power to Establish Low-Power Demonstration Reactor 'HERMES' in Oak Ridge

July 17th, 2021

ETTP-Aerial-View

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – July 16, 2021 – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and Kairos Power officials announced today that the privately funded, advanced nuclear engineering company will establish a low-power demonstration reactor in Oak Ridge.
- Tennessee's Department of Economic & Community Development Newspiece

This completes the acquisition of the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) site, initially selected for the project back in December 2020. At the same time, Kairos also received $303 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and Office of Nuclear Energy’s program for Risk Reduction projects to support the design, licensing, and construction of the reactor.

Kairos Power will invest $100 million and create 55 jobs to deploy a low-power demonstration reactor, called HERMES, at the site in Tennessee.

“Oak Ridge continues to lead the nation in groundbreaking technology, and we recognize Kairos Power for joining this effort. I’m proud of the energy development happening in Tennessee that will positively impact the U.S. and the world. We thank Kairos Power for choosing to develop their test reactor here in Tennessee to support their mission of developing innovative nuclear technology that will move the U.S. forward.” – Gov. Bill Lee

HERMES, expected to be operational in 2026, will demonstrate the company’s capability to deliver low-cost nuclear heat. It is a scaled version of Kairos Power’s Fluoride Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Reactor (KP-FHR), an advanced reactor technology that aims to be cost-competitive with natural gas in the U.S. electricity market in order to provide carbon-free, affordable, and safe energy. The project will be a redevelopment of a site at the Heritage Center, a former U.S. Department of Energy site complex.

“The Oak Ridge Corridor is at the forefront of science and technology in the U.S. and this partnership with Kairos Power is a huge accomplishment for Tennessee and the nuclear energy world. The combination of resources working to deliver innovative nuclear energy is fueled by our strong science and energy sector and the excellent work being done daily at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, led by Dr. Zacharia. I congratulate Kairos Power on this groundbreaking project.” – TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe

"The City of Oak Ridge has a long and distinguished history of nuclear innovation. The citizens of Oak Ridge look forward to welcoming Kairos Power into to our community and working with this exciting innovative project to ensure their long-term success."  Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson

Professors Scarlat and Fratoni receive U.S. Department of Energy NEUP Grants

Professors Scarlat and Fratoni receive U.S. Department of Energy NEUP Grants

June 22, 2021

Green and Blue Gradient New Item Instagram Post
PI: Scarlat
CoPIs: Mark Asta (UC Berkeley), Boris Khaykovich (MIT), Sven Vogel (LANL), Ian Farnan (Cambridge University, UK)
PI: Mark Anderson (UW Madison)
CoPIs: Raluca Scarlat (UCB), Kevin Robb (ORNL), Industrial Collaborators: Joseph Hensel (Powdermet Inc.) and Nicolas Zweibaum (Kairos Power)
PI: Dan Kotlyar, Georgia Institute of Technology
Co-PIs: Massimiliano Fratoni, University of California, Berkeley; Thomas Evans, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Michael Savela, Framatome Inc.
PI: Zeyun Wu – Virginia Commonwealth University
Co-PIs: Massimiliano Fratoni, UC Berkeley; Benjamin Betzler, ORNL; Tingzhou Fei, ANL; Kurt Harris, Flibe Energy

Professor Raluca Scarlat wins the Society of Hellman Fellows Fund

Professor Raluca Scarlat wins the Society of Hellman Fellows Fund

May 28th, 2021

Raluca Scarlat_website photo
Professor Raluca Scarlat wins the Society of Hellman Fellows Fund with her proposal:
"The Relationship between Acidity of Molten Salts and Their Properties,"
Congratulations Professor Scarlat!
More info on the fund and past recipients:
https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/support-uc/donate/society-of-hellman-fellows

Dan Kammen to hold James and Katherine Lau Distinguished Chair in Sustainability

Professor Dan Kammen to hold the James and Katherine Lau Distinguished Chair in Sustainability

May 14th, 2021

Kammen
Professor Dan Kammen was announced as the James and Katherine Lau Distinguished Chair in Sustainability, effective July 1, 2021. This chair is campus-held and was originally approved as an administrative chair providing support for the Berkeley Energy and Climate Initiative (BECI). This honor is granted in recognition of the leadership role he plays in advancing teaching and research in areas ranging from energy supply and demand to related policy and markets.

Professor Per Peterson selected to join the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board

Professor Per Peterson Selected to Join the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board

April 30th, 2021

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Professor Per Peterson was invited to be a member of the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board (NASEM). The board oversees the National Academy’s studies in nuclear technologies and radiation health effects and has the responsibility to organize NASEM studies on safety, security, technical efficacy, and other policy and societal issues arising from the application of nuclear and radiation-based technologies.

Find more about NASEM and meet the other Board members:  https://www.nationalacademies.org/nrsb/about

Congratulations, Per!