EM2 and Spinoff Technologies

Robert_Schleicher
SPEAKER:
ROBERT SCHLEICHER
DATE/TIME:
MON, 11/28/2011 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2011 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

EM2 is a helium-cooled fast reactor with a conversion ratio of near unity. It has a 30 year core life and is able to burn spent LWR fuel without reprocessing. An update of the technical developments in EM2 since the last Berkeley colloquium will be given. The update will include design changes and improvements as well as progress on fuel fabrication and SiC composite development. EM2 has fostered a number of spinoff technologies that are actively being pursued including SiC composite clad for LWRs, high-speed turbo-generators and EM3, a small, molten-salt cooled, autonomous version of EM2.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Schleicher is senior scientist at General Atomics, where he has been an employee for 39 years. During this time, he has been a contributor in the fission, magnetic and inertial fusion and high energy laser fields. At present, he is the project manager, co-inventor and technical leader for the EM2 nuclear reactor, an advanced helium-cooled, convert & burn, fast reactor. He has recently returned to the fission community after 20 years in other fields, and is working to cross-fertilize technologies and materials from other fields with nuclear fission. Previously, he spent 10 years developing on innovative solid-state lasers and is the co-inventor of the HELLADS, high power military laser. Prior to that time he worked in the Fusion Division and was appointed to the ITER Joint Central Team where he was responsible for tokomak electrical systems. He conducted many studies on the application of nuclear energy to non-electricity uses including desalination. He developed the DEEP cogeneration/desalination code for the IAEA, which is currently used by many nations to evaluate the use of nuclear power for desalination. He has a Ph.D. from Cornell University in Applied Physics. He is the author or co-author of over 40 articles and papers on advanced energy production technologies.

Dr. Schleicher is committed to innovation and technology advancement in the energy field. He believes that the U.S. must advance substantially new and better concepts in order to have significant influence in the direction of the global nuclear economy. He believes that new ideas are key to attracting talented young minds into the nuclear field to make these technologies a reality.

Neutron Generators for Active Interrogation Applications in Nuclear Safeguards and Homeland Security

Bernhard_Ludewigt
SPEAKER:
BERNHARD LUDEWIGT
DATE/TIME:
MON, 11/21/2011 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2011 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The Ion Beam Technology Group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) is conducting research on a broad range of electronic neutron sources, from compact devices to accelerator-driven systems, for homeland security and non-proliferation applications. New ion source technology has been developed and adapted for use in neutron generators. This includes permanent-magnet, microwave-driven ion sources that produce high mono-atomic fractions and high beam current densities, and the improvement of Penning ion sources by better magnetic confinement, optimization of electrode geometry, and choice of wall material. A field ionization source employing nanoemitter arrays is under development in pursuit of ultra-compact, low-power generators that are easily portable and can serve as replacement for radiological sources. The neutron generator R&D is performed in the context of active interrogation applications in nuclear safeguards, homeland security, well-logging and industrial process control. The development of a neutron generator based instrument for the determination of Pu in spent nuclear fuel assemblies utilizing delayed gamma-ray spectroscopy will be discussed. Also presented will be ongoing work towards a neutron generator for associated particle imaging and its use in nuclear safeguards and a concept for an accelerator-driven neutron beam source for stand-off detection of shielded special nuclear materials.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Bernhard Ludewigt is a Staff Physicist in the Accelerator & Fusion Research Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. His current research focuses on active interrogation techniques for the non-destructive assay of nuclear materials, in particular delayed gamma-ray spectroscopy and nuclear resonance fluorescence, and the development of neutron and gamma sources for homeland security and nuclear safeguards applications. Other research interests and experience include advanced radiation detector systems, medical applications of ion beams and beam delivery systems for radiotherapy.

Origins, Visions, Plans & Wave Reactors

John_Gilleland
SPEAKER:
JOHN GILLELAND
DATE/TIME:
MON, 11/14/2011 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2011 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The traveling wave reactor concept and its potential benefits will be reviewed. The plan for long term development of the reactor and its infrastructure will be outlined. The associated global TWR technology development program will be summarized. Thoughts on safety post Fukushima will be offered.

About the Speaker:

ohn Gilleland is the Chief Executive Officer of TerraPower LLC. The Company is focused on the development of advanced nuclear power systems. Previously Dr Gilleland founded and served as the CEO of Archimedes Technology Group, a company which created a new technology that could greatly speed up weapons waste cleanup and opens new approaches to commercial spent fuel reprocessing. As Chief Scientist and Vice president of Energy Programs at Bechtel Corporation he had responsibility for a large number of advanced energy production and energy storage projects. This included large scale renewable energy projects as well as advanced nuclear systems. Prior to that he served as the US Managing Director of ITER during its Conceptual Design Phase and Director of the DIIID fusion research program at General Atomics.

The Facility for Rare Isotope Beams

Brad_Sherrill
SPEAKER:
BRAD SHERRILL
DATE/TIME:
MON, 11/07/2011 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2011 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

A quest of experimental nuclear science is to synthesize atoms made of unusual combinations of neutrons, protons and electrons. Certain combinations highlight particular aspects of the nuclear many body problems. In part, based on our current capabilities for creating new nuclides, our understanding of atomic nuclei has changed dramatically. Many of the so called basic properties of atomic nuclei turn out to not be as universal as we thought. A dramatic next step will be the construction of the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams. When completed in approximately 2018, it will produce most of the astrophysically interesting isotopes needed to model element formation in the universe, and allow specific, key measurements of nuclear properties needed for progress in nuclear theory. We hope to gain a broad view on the limits of atoms and what might be the heaviest elements in nature. It will also provide a range of interesting isotopes of use for fields from condensed matter science to human health. The talk will present the facility and some of the associated science.

About the Speaker:

Professor Bradley Sherrill is Chief Scientist for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams and is a University Distinguished Professor of Physics at Michigan State University, where he has been on the faculty for 20 years. He has worked in the fields of production of exotic isotopes and designed and development of methods for the separation of isotopes to the level of 1 part in 10^18. He has served on many NSF and DOE expert committees and on the scientific advisory committees of many of the nuclear physics laboratories worldwide. He was chair of the American Physical Society Division of Nuclear Physics in 2005.

The Attractiveness of Materials in Advanced Nuclear Fuel Cycles for Various Proliferation and Theft Scenarios

Charles_Bathke
SPEAKER:
CHARLES BATHKE
DATE/TIME:
MON, 10/31/2011 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2011 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

We must anticipate that the day is approaching when details of nuclear weapons design and fabrication will become common knowledge. On that day we must be particularly certain that all special nuclear materials (SNM) are adequately accounted for and protected and that we have a clear understanding of the utility of nuclear materials to potential adversaries. To this end, this talk will examine the attractiveness of materials mixtures containing SNM and alternate nuclear materials (ANM) associated with the plutonium-uranium reduction extraction (PUREX), uranium extraction (UREX), co-extraction (COEX), and thorium extraction (THOREX) reprocessing schemes. This talk will provide a set of figures of merit (FOM) for evaluating material attractiveness that covers a broad range of proliferant state and subnational group capabilities. The primary conclusion of this talk is that all fissile material must be rigorously safeguarded to detect diversion by a state and provided the highest levels of physical protection to prevent theft by subnational groups; no “silver bullet” fuel cycle has been found that will permit the relaxation of current international safeguards or national physical security protection levels. The work reported in this talk has been performed at the request of the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and is based on the calculation of “attractiveness levels” that are expressed in terms consistent with, but normally reserved for the nuclear materials in DOE nuclear facilities. The methodology and findings are presented. Additionally, how these attractiveness levels relate to proliferation resistance and physical security are presented.

About the Speaker:

Charles G. Bathke: PhD in Nuclear Engineering, University of Illinois, United States of America. PostDoc at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.

Dr. Charles G. Bathke is a staff member (Scientist 4) in D-5 Nuclear Design and Risk Analysis Group. He worked on the Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI) and its predecessor the Accelerator Transmutation of Waste (ATW) from 2000 through 2004, where he developed the Nuclear Fuel Cycle Simulation (NFCSim) code, which simulates the civilian nuclear fuel cycle from cradle (mine) to grave (waste repository). Bathke has been with Los Alamos since 1978, performing systems analyses of reactors based upon various magnetic fusion confinement schemes, proton accelerators used to generate tritium, electron accelerators used for x-ray radiography, and terrorist-induced biological events. For the past four years, his focus has been material attractiveness and non-proliferation.

Awards:
- He received the American Nuclear Society, Isotopes and Radiation Division, Best Student Contributed Paper Award in 1974.
- He received the American Nuclear Society, Fusion Energy Division, Outstanding Technical Accomplishment Award in 1994.
- He received the Los Alamos National Laboratory 2008 Distinguished Performance Award for his work on “SNM Attractiveness Analysis for Next-Generation Nuclear Power”.

From Nuclear Medicine to Molecular Imaging: A Spectrum of Isotopes and New Molecular Probes

Henry_VanBrocklin
SPEAKER:
HENRY VANBROCKLIN
DATE/TIME:
MON, 10/24/2011 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2011 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

For nearly 90 years radioisotopes have been applied to image the in vivo biology of living systems from plants to animals to humans. Over this period of time many isotopes with a range of decay characteristics and properties have been discovered, produced and applied to trace normal and disease pathologies. Technological advances in scanner design from the early gamma cameras to the multimodality scanners available today have transformed imaging approaches. Advances in labeling chemistry have provided a variety of radiotracers that can interrogate a multitude of vital targets related to normal pathology, disease sates and drug development. The state of the art of imaging science will be presented from the perspective of isotope production as well as molecular imaging tracer development and applications.

About the Speaker:

Dr. VanBrocklin is currently Professor of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) and Director of Radiopharmaceutical Research in the Center for Functional and Molecular Imaging. His work in the field spans many disciplines from short-lived radioisotope production to the creation of fluorine-18 and carbon-11 labeling chemistry strategies for new radiotracer preparation and application. His current research interests include development of automated devices for the production of fluorine-18 labeled molecules, preparation of radiopharmaceutical probes for PET and SPECT blood flow measurement, design of imaging agents targeting cancer cell surface markers, and the application of imaging in drug development. He has on-going collaborations with several pharmaceutical companies. Dr. VanBrocklin has overseen the complete build out of a state of the art radiochemistry, imaging, and training facility at UCSF for basic R&D and preclinical studies as well as clinical applications.

Dr. VanBrocklin received his Ph.D. in Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry from Washington University St. Louis under the mentorship of Prof. Michael Welch. He furthered the development of positron-labeled estrogens, progestins and androgens for tumor imaging. As a US Department of Energy Alexander Hollander Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship he continued his research on positron labeled steroids and fatty acids in the laboratory of Prof. John Katzenellenbogen at the University of Illinois. In 1992 Dr. VanBrocklin moved to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he was a Staff Scientist and Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry Group Leader in the Department of Functional Imaging prior to moving to UCSF in 2005.

Nuclear Energy and Health

Jerry_Cutler
SPEAKER:
JERRY CUTTLER
DATE/TIME:
MON, 10/17/2011 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2011 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Energy needs worldwide are expected to increase for the foreseeable future, but fuel supplies are limited. Nuclear reactors could supply much of the energy demand in a safe, sustainable manner were it not for fear of potential releases of radioactivity. Such releases would likely deliver a low dose or dose rate of radiation, within the range of naturally occurring radiation, to which life is already accustomed. The key areas of concern are discussed. Studies of actual health effects, especially thyroid cancers, following exposures are assessed. Radiation hormesis is explained, pointing out that beneficial effects are expected following a low dose or dose rate because protective responses against stresses are stimulated. The notions that no amount of radiation is small enough to be harmless and that a nuclear accident could kill hundreds of thousands are challenged in light of experience: more than a century with radiation and six decades with reactors. If nuclear energy is to play a significant role in meeting future needs, regulatory authorities must examine the scientific evidence and communicate the real health effects of nuclear radiation. Negative images and implications of health risks derived by unscientific extrapolations of harmful effects of high doses must be dispelled.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Cuttler received his BASc-Eng degree (1964) in engineering physics from the University of Toronto and his MSc and DSc degrees (1967-1971) in nuclear sciences and engineering from the Israel Institute of Technology. Until 1974, he managed a radiation detector company.

At Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, he led the design and procurement of the reactor control, safety systems and radiation monitoring instrumentation for the first CANDU-6 reactors, the four-reactor Pickering-B station and the four-reactor Bruce-B station. He was engineering manager of AECL’s Bruce-B Project, resident engineering manager in Romania, engineering manager district heating reactors, manager of services to the eight-reactor Pickering station, engineering integration manager of the CANDU-9 Project and manager of technical services including Y2K support to 28 reactors.

Dr. Cuttler has been an active member of Professional Engineers Ontario, Canadian Nuclear Society (president 1995-1996), American Nuclear Society, American Physical Society, Canadian Nuclear Association, Health Physics Society, Canadian Radiation Protection Association and the International Dose-Response Society. He has written hundreds of technical reports for nuclear stations, tens of conferences papers and articles for peer reviewed journals.

Starting in 2000, he provided services to Ontario Power Generation for returning Pickering Unit-4 to service and extending the life of the Pickering-B station, to AECL for completing reactors to supply radioisotopes for diagnostic scanning, to Bruce Power for restarting reactors 1/2 and extending the Bruce-B reactor lives for 30 years.

Since 1995, Dr. Cuttler has been assessing the health effects of ionizing radiation and drawing international attention to radiation hormesis. He presented tens of papers at many conferences pointing out that low exposures are stimulating for curing infections, extending life and reducing the incidences of cancer and congenital malformations. He organized adaptive response sessions at nuclear energy conferences, inviting renowned radiobiologists to present remarkable evidence. He has urged many oncologists to use total-body low-dose radiation in cancer therapy. He has intervened with regulators with submissions that identify beneficial effects following low doses and debunk the LNT assumption. He arranged presentations by world specialists in low dose at hospitals, universities, nuclear centers and societies. He continues to communicate positive low dose information and fight politicized radiation scares on the Internet and at professional and social clubs.

Dr. Cuttler is the recipient of 2011 International Dose-Response Society Award for Outstanding Career Achievement. The award is presented to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field of Dose Response.

Precision Beta-Delayed Neutron Spectroscopy Using Trapped Radioactive Ions

Nicholas_Scielzo
SPEAKER:
NICHOLAS D. SCIELZO
DATE/TIME:
MON, 10/03/2011 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2011 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Neutrons emitted following the beta decay of fission fragments play an important role in many fields of basic and applied science such as nuclear energy, nuclear astrophysics, and stockpile stewardship. However, the fundamental nuclear data available today for individual nuclei is limited – for the vast majority of neutron emitters, the energy spectrum has not been measured and some recent measurements have uncovered discrepancies as large as factors of 2-4 in beta-delayed neutron branching ratios. Radioactive ions held in an ion trap are an appealing source of activity for improved studies of this beta-delayed neutron emission process. When a radioactive ion decays in the trap, the recoiling daughter nucleus and emitted radiation emerges from the ~1 mm3 trap volume and propagates through vacuum without scattering. Information about particles that are difficult or even impossible to detect can be obtained using conservation of momentum/energy from the determination of the nuclear recoil and beta particle kinematics. For the first time, beta-delayed neutron spectroscopy is being performed using trapped ions by identifying neutron emission from the large nuclear recoil it imparts and using this recoil energy to reconstruct the neutron branching ratios and energy spectra. Results from a recent proof-of-principle measurement of the beta-delayed neutron spectrum of Iodine-137 and plans for future experiments at Argonne National Laboratory using significantly higher intensity fission-fragment beams will be presented.
This work performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Scielzo, Physicist, Physical and Life Sciences Directorate, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, performs low-energy nuclear physics research to (1) study neutron-induced reactions of interest for stellar nucleosynthesis, nuclear energy production, and national security applications, (2) test the Standard Model of particle physics through precise measurements of radioactive decay processes such as beta decay and double-beta decay, and (3) develop novel ion trap techniques for high-precision measurements of nuclear properties. He received his B.A. from Harvard University and his Ph.D. in nuclear physics from UC Berkeley. He has conducted nuclear physics experiments at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He is currently looking for students and post-docs interested in pursuing precision decay studies of importance to nuclear energy, nucleosynthesis, and stockpile stewardship that can be performed by accumulating fission fragments in an ion trap. He can be reached at: scielzo1@llnl.gov.

Gathering the Tools for a Renewed UCSF Department of Radiation Oncology: From Dose to Image to Dose

pouliot
SPEAKER:
JEAN POULIOT
DATE/TIME:
MON, 09/26/2011 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2011 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Radiation therapy, alone or in combination with other modalities, is involved in the treatment of a majority of cancers, is practiced in every clinic and used to treat practically every site of the body. The field of radiation oncology is a perfect example of a multidisciplinary environment requiring expertise of people from widely different backgrounds. In order to control the tumor and cure the cancer patient, one needs to deliver a high dose to cancer cells, drawing on concepts related to radiation, energy, radiobiology, imaging, computation and statistics. By understanding those concepts, the medical physicist plays a key role and allows the team members to safely and effectively use radiation in the treatment of cancer.

Recent advances in treatment delivery that improve conformality of dose to the tumor volume have the potential to benefit a great number of patients. At the same time, additional precision in treatment delivery becomes of utmost importance due to the high dose gradients placed near sensitive structures. Fuelled by increasingly sophisticated imaging capabilities in the treatment room, many departments of radiation oncology are pursuing Adaptive Radiation Therapy strategies that seek to improve patient dose distributions by introducing feedback into the treatment process.

At UCSF, the department of radiation oncology is undergoing a major technological upgrade driven by the fact that each cancer is unique. One needs to be able to choose among a variety of technologies and radiation devices that are best adapted to each patient need. Most importantly, we need to use this technology appropriately. After briefly introducing the field of radiation oncology, the presentation will describe some of the concepts, technologies and research orientations pursued in our department. A special emphasis will be placed on the increasing role of imaging at each step of radiation therapy.

About the Speaker:

Jean Pouliot received his Ph.D. degree in Physics from Laval University, Quebec in 1986, performed his postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in heavy-ion nuclear physics and joined the Medical Physics field in 1993. He is currently Director of the Medical Physics Division, Vice Chair and Professor of Radiation Oncology with the University of California, San Francisco with a joint appointment with the Graduate Bioengineering UC-Berkeley UCSF program. His current main thrusts of research interest are on the development and the clinical integration of Dose-Guided Radiation Therapy with Megavoltage Cone-Beam CT for patient verification, organ motion and tumor evolution studies during cancer irradiation, and on an Inverse Planning (IPSA) for the dose distribution optimization of image-guided High Dose-Rate and Permanent Prostate Implant Brachytherapy. Author and co-author of more than 160 peer-reviewed publications, Dr Pouliot was voted among the Top 25 Innovators in U.S., Health Imaging and IT, in June 2006 for his pioneering research on MegaVoltage Cone Beam CT imaging.

The Materials Test Station: A Fast Spectrum Irradiation Facility

Eric_Pitcher
SPEAKER:
ERIC PITCHER
DATE/TIME:
MON, 09/19/2011 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Fall 2011 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The proposed Materials Test Station, to be built at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center, will use the high-power proton beam from the LANSCE accelerator to create an intense neutron irradiation environment for nuclear materials testing. The primary mission is to test advanced fuels and materials for fast reactor applications, including fuels bearing minor actinides, in support of the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy's Fuel Cycle R&D program. Damage rates of up to 15 dpa per year in iron can be achieved within the fuel irradiation region. Not only can the MTS perform integral testing of fuel rodlets subjected to prototypic fast reactor conditions, it is also well suited to conducting separate effects experiments that are critically important to understanding the underlying processes that contribute to fuel aging and ultimately fuel failure. Separate effects testing of the type than can be conducted in MTS can validate modeling efforts that are used to simulate fuel performance.

About the Speaker:

Eric Pitcher earned his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan in 1992. He has been employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory since 1982, having started with the Undergraduate Student program. He converted from a postdoctoral position to a staff member in 1993. His technical area of expertise is spallation neutron source design, with an emphasis on modeling source performance using Monte Carlo radiation transport codes. In 2004, he was named the Deputy Group Leader (and later Acting Group Leader) of the Nuclear Physics group within the Lab’s Theoretical Division, and in 2005 he assumed his current position as Manager of the Materials Test Station project. He is an active member of the American Nuclear Society’s Accelerator Applications Division, having served on its Executive Committee for five years, including one year as the Chair (2007–2008). In 2004, he participated in an IAEA Specialist’s Meeting on the technology and use of low-energy accelerator-driven neutron sources. He has served on a number of review committees, including a “Temple Review” of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Spallation Neutron Source target station in 1999 and Michigan State University’s Facility for Radioactive Ion Beams target station in 2010. He has authored or co-authored over 20 journal articles and more than 80 papers in conference proceedings.

Video:

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