Machine Learning approach to Nuclear Threat Detection

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SPEAKER:
SIMON LABOV
DATE/TIME:
MON, 09/28/2020 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
Via Zoom
Fall 2020 Colloquium Series
Co-hosted with NSSC
Abstract:

Conventional approaches to radiation measurements are sometimes insufficient to address the challenges of nuclear threat detection in real-world conditions.  Threat-aware signal processing, statistical methods, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are fast becoming an important part of the analysis of large data sets acquired by radiation detectors and supporting contextual sensors. These computational methods enable us to unmask data correlations, trends, and patterns that provide valuable insights of the physics phenomena under study. The methods and insights can then be used to fuse data from different measurement modalities and analyze measurements with greatly enhanced performance.  This talk will describe some of the difficulties in nuclear threat detection and how machine learning can be applied to address these challenges.  Problems specific to applying machine learning to nuclear threat detection, some of which can be catastrophic, will be discussed, and solutions will be presented that can avoid these issues.  

About the Speaker:

Simon Labov is an expert in nuclear detection systems, advanced spectral and multisource analysis algorithms, and distributed detector systems.  He currently leads the development of the machine learning-enabled Enhanced Radiological Nuclear Inspection and Evaluation (ERNIE) System.  ERNIE is now operating at some of the busiest U.S. seaports to increase sensitivity and reduce false alarms for radiation portal monitors.  He also leads an algorithm development team for the ubiquitous detection SIGMA program and other mobile detection systems. In 2001, he initiated the Cellular-Telephone-Based Radiation Sensor and Wide-Area Detection Network Project, which was awarded three patents and has been aggressively supported by multiple funding agencies.  Simon Labov joined LLNL in 1987 and helped initiate a program to develop high-resolution, energy-dispersive x-ray detectors that operate at very low temperatures, and then founded and directed the LLNL Radiation Detection Center.  Prior to joining LLNL, Labov developed instrumentation for soft-x-ray astrophysics and received a B.S. at Stanford University and a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.

Going From Zero to A Billion: How to Build an Advanced Nuclear Power Plant Indy Style

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SPEAKER:
CANON BRYAN
DATE/TIME:
MON, 08/31/2020 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
Fall 2020 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The nuclear energy industry is transforming from being highly concentrated and government- or multinational- funded to nimble, innovative start-ups funded by the cleantech community. This lecture discusses how it is possible to take an advanced reactor design from the idea stage to a multi-billion-dollar concern and still maintain control over your vision for the project.

About the Speaker:

Canon Bryan is a financial professional with over 25 years of experience in various aspects of the finance industry. Mr. Bryan has experience as a buy-side analyst, entrepreneur and financial executive. He co-founded and has been involved with the listing of two successful companies onto public stock exchanges in North America since 2004. He has contracted with many public and private companies, performing a wide variety of finance-related operations, including public company financial reporting, management reporting, full-cycle accounting, budget development and analysis, economic modeling, corporate development strategies, technical writing, project management, and others. He has had exposure to the following industries: nuclear power, natural resources, biotechnology, real estate development, food service and others. Mr. Bryan was a founding shareholder in the following companies: Terrestrial Energy Inc, since 2012, where he serves as chief financial officer, is developing a commercial molten salt reactor in Canada. NioCorp Developments Ltd (NB: TSXV) in October 2009. NioCorp is developing the largest niobium deposit in North America. Uranium Energy Corp (UEC: AMEX) in August 2004, where he served as VP Corporate Development until October 2007. UEC is a producer of ISR uranium in the USA. Mr. Bryan was a senior financial analyst for Lasik Vision Corporation (LSK: CDNX), which was the world’s largest provider of laser refractive surgical services. He has also served as chief financial officer, and on boards of directors, for private and public companies in Canada and the USA. Mr. Bryan completed his professional studies in accounting with the Certified General Accountants Association of Canada; he is not designated.

Zoom: https://berkeley.zoom.us/j/91568655249

Next-Generation Laser Plasma Spectroscopy Technologies for Nuclear Security

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SPEAKER:
VASSILIA ZORBA
DATE/TIME:
MON, 09/14/2020 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
Zoom
Fall 2020 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Pulsed laser technologies play a critical role in nuclear security, including remote sensing, safeguards and emergency response. My group’s research focuses on the development of next-generation laser technologies with improved sensitivity, precision, and detection range for nuclear non-proliferation applications. This talk will cover recent work on emerging ultrafast technologies based on optical emission. Specifically, I will discuss new femtosecond laser ablation sampling approaches that enable remote isotopic and elemental sensing, improve laser beam propagation at extended distances, and preferentially enhance or impede chemical reactions for the detection of isotopes. Enabling laser technologies include femtosecond filamentation, ultrafast optical vortex beams, and femtosecond-induced weakly ionized air plasma channels to optimize detection distance and sensitivity.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Vassilia Zorba is a Physicist Staff Scientist and Group Leader for the Laser Technologies Group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She is also an Associate Adjunct Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include ultrafast laser-material interactions, non-linear optics, remote sensing, laser-induced plasma chemistry, and laser ablation-based chemical analysis for nuclear security and energy applications. Her previous work focused on femtosecond laser surface structuring technologies and biomimetic material functionalization. Dr. Zorba’s credits include more than 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals, numerous invited talks, and a 2011 R&D 100 Technology Award.

Zoom Link: https://berkeley.zoom.us/j/91568655249

The Transformational Challenge Reactor

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SPEAKER:
KURT TERRANI, Ph.D.
DATE/TIME:
MON, 08/31/2020 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
Zoom
Fall 2020 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

This talk provides and overview of motivation behind and ongoing activities towards development and deployment of the Transformational Challenge Reactor (TCR)

About the Speaker:
Kurt Terrani is a Senior Staff Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Director of Transformational Challenge Reactor program for U.S. DOE, Office of Nuclear Energy. He joined the laboratory as a Weinberg Fellow in the Nuclear Fuel Materials Group in 2010 after completing his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on fundamental aspects of nuclear fuel and materials manufacturing, radiation effects, and behavior.