Kairos Power’s Hermes, one of the Risk Reduction Projects awarded by DOE’s Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the projects to be funded by its Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program (ARDP) award for Risk Reduction funding. Kairos Power LLC (Alameda, CA) was selected and will be awarded $629 million over seven years (DOE share is $303 million) and will receive $30 million in initial funding for FY20.

A recognition for the Hermes Reduced-Scale Test Reactor and Kairos's progress in developing its commercial-scale KP-FHR (Kairos Power Fluoride Salt-Cooled High Temperature Reactor): "a novel advanced nuclear reactor technology that leverages TRI-structural ISOtropic particle fuel (TRISO) fuel in pebble form combined with a low-pressure fluoride salt coolant."

 

DOE's announcement

Berkeley Material Scientists designs recharge able N95 mask

Berkeley Material Scientists designs rechargeable N95 mask

December 9th, 2020

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The COVID19 Pandemic has exposed the limits of even the most efficient of masks used by first responders. N95 masks, considered the "gold standard" for anti-viral protection, is only recommended to be worn once and require a tight fit around the mouth and nose. "Urban and Hosemann say that their joint research effort aims to address such problems with long-term filter efficiency by designing and fabricating a reusable silicone N95 mask with a rechargeable, wire-mesh active filter."

“This mesh filter can be recharged, and thus the mask itself can be reusable, a key advantage,” he said. “The ultimate vision is to make a mask with a filter battery cartridge that you could plug in and recharge overnight, like a cell phone.”

The scientists are also developing a 3D-printable, silicone-cast mold for the body of the mask–offering a solution to shortages and fit problems.  "In the event of a PPE shortage, a 3D-printable mold would allow anyone – from the DIY hobbyist to supply clerks at a school or hospital – to make silicone N95 masks on demand and with short lead times," Hosemann said.

“The combination of 3D printing and casting of simple parts is a powerful way to produce unavailable PPE rapidly if the raw material is available,” he added.

The mold and rechargeable filters are in the early stages of research and development but the team says they are making quick progess.

Read more on the Berkeley Lab's news Release: https://newscenter.lbl.gov/2020/12/09/anti-covid-mask-breaks-mold/

 

Kairos Power Selects Location for Fluoride Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Test Reactor

Kairos Power Selects Location for Fluoride Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Test Reactor

December 12th, 2020

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Kairos Power has announced the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee will be the location for their Fluoride Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Test Reactor, pending further discussion with state and local officials.

Find their official press release on their website: https://kairospower.com/external_updates/kairos-power-selects-east-tennessee-technology-park-site-for-fluoride-salt-cooled-high-temperature-test-reactor/

Kairos Power was co-founded by Professor Per Peterson, Michael Laufer and Edward Blandford

Grey Batie wows at the 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Research Conference (DIRC20)

Grey Batie wows at the 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Research Conference

November 13th, 2020

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The third annual Diversity & Inclusion Research Conference took place November 12-13, 2020 as a virtual event, reaching more than 500 attendees across six continents. DIRC20 featured nearly 50 panelists and speakers, which ranged from a University President to the Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer of a multinational corporation.

Grey was invited to join a panel titled "Allyship and Intersectionality: Understanding the roles of power, privilege and marginalization in DEI work.” Grey was joined on this panel by Heather Metcalf, Chief Research Officer of the Association for Women in Science; Dr. Tsedale Melaku, author of the book "You Don't Look Like a Lawyer: Black Women and Systemic Gendered Racism”; and Jennifer Brown, author of multiple books and one of the best-known Diversity & Inclusion Practitioners in this country.

Paolo Gaudiano, one of the conference's organizers praised Grey for their contribution, “Grey was absolutely fantastic in their role. It is rare to find such an incredible combination of intellect, charisma, self-awareness and humility...In these times of heightened awareness about issues of racial inequality, and especially given that today marks the beginning of Transgender Awareness Week, I hope you are aware of the amazing individual that you have among your doctoral students, and that you will join me and my colleagues in celebrating Grey's impressive achievements.”

"Grey has been wonderful to mentor and to work with over the last few years. Grey has been and I'm sure they will continue to be an outstanding ambassador for diversity and inclusion. In addition to engaging in the important issues of equity, diversity, and racial justice, Grey has been themself an exemplary mentor for other students while tackling outstanding challenges in the effective and safe operation of the next generation of nuclear power plants in their research," says Kai Vetter, their research advisor.

To read more about DIRC20 and Grey Batie: https://www.dirc.info/

We are so proud of you, Grey!

Jasmina Vujic: The First Female Chair of a Nuclear Engineering Department

Jasmine Vujic: The First Female Chair of a Nuclear Engineering Department

November 06, 2020

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Jasmina Vujic was the first woman to join UC Berkeley’s nuclear engineering faculty in 1992, and in 2005 became the first female chair of a nuclear engineering department in the nation. She is renowned as a top researcher in the field of nuclear energy systems, numerical methods and biomedical applications of radiation. She is also the principal investigator and founding director of the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium. The $50M+ multi-institution initiative aims to train the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers, as well as engage academic communities in collaborative research and development with national laboratories in support of the nation’s nonproliferation mission.

Vujic was born and raised in Serbia, where she has been involved in educational initiatives. She is a member of RadWatch, a Berkeley project that provides data on radiation to the public. From 2009–11 she helped lead the Nuclear Engineering Department Heads Organization and has worked as a consultant for such companies as General Electric, Transware and VeriTainer.

As an internationally recognized expert in nuclear science and technology, Vujic is a member of various domestic and international advisory boards and nuclear reactor safety boards. She is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society and has been a member of several committees of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences.

E.S. Kuh Chair of Engineering: Peter Hosemann

E.S. Kuh Chair of Engineering: Peter Hosemann

September 24th, 2020

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Professor and Department Chair Peter Hosemann was announced as the E.S. Kuh Chair of Engineering. This honor is granted to a faculty member with outstanding research, teaching, and service. The Chair, funded by the Hewlett Endowment, honors the memory of Prof. Ernest Kuh (1928-2015) of the EECS department, who served as Chair, and as the Dean of the UC Berkeley College of Engineering.
 
Ernest Kuh joined the EECS Department faculty in 1956. From 1968 to 1972 he served as chair of the department; from 1973 to 1980 he served as Dean of the College of Engineering. 

Prof. Kuh was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the Academia Sinica, and a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was a Fellow of IEEE and AAAS. He received numerous awards and honors, including the ASEE Lamme Medal, the IEEE Centennial Medal, the IEEE Education Medal, the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Award, the IEEE Millennium Medal, the 1996 C&C Prize, and the 1998 EDAC Phil Kaufman Award.

THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR ENERGY: Interview with Peter Hosemann

The Future of Nuclear Energy: Interview with Peter Hosemann

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If you get cancer treatment today, it’s very likely you will get injected with a radioactive substance. That technology is born out of the nuclear enterprise. Without reactors, you wouldn’t have it. There are numerous examples of the benefits of nuclear engineering beyond just nuclear power.
Dr. Peter Hosemann, Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at University of California, Berkeley

In 2000, nuclear energy from just 30 countries provided approximately 15 percent of worldwide electricity capacity. But by 2019, its share had fallen to 10 percent, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicting that without intervention it would fall even further, to 5 percent, by 2040. That represents a significant drop in what could be an important source of clean energy.

“A nuclear power plant doesn’t take up a lot of space, and it can create a tremendous amount of energy, with a carbon footprint that is extremely low,” says Dr. Peter Hosemann, a professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at University of California Berkeley, where he is also the current chair.

Nuclear energy is the second-largest low-carbon power source in the world, second only to hydropower. According to the IEA, low-carbon electricity generation has to increase to 85 percent of the world’s energy, from its 36 percent share today, in order to stave off the most calamitous effects of climate change. Of major low-carbon energy sources, nuclear power is the least dependent upon geography.

“I believe the use of nuclear energy will increase as we become more serious about climate change and carbon emission,” Dr. Hosemann says. “I don’t think we have much of a choice.”

Dr. Peter Hosemann is a professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California Berkeley, where he is also the department chair. He received his MS and PhD degrees in material science from Montanuniversität Leoben, Austria.

Prior to joining the Department of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley, Dr. Hosemann was a graduate research assistant and a post-doc at Los Alamos National Laboratory. His research features experimental material science for nuclear applications, with a focus on the structural materials used for nuclear components.

Source: https://www.onlineengineeringprograms.com/features/nuclear-energy-future

 

MRS Graduate Student Awards

MRS Graduate Student Awards

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Yujun Xie, who is now a postdoctoral fellow at Prof. Peter Hosemann’s group at the University of California at Berkeley and National Center for Electron Microscopy in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, has won the prestigious gold graduate student award from the 2020 Materials Research Society Spring Meeting for his Ph.D. work at Yale University working with Prof. Judy Cha and Prof. Jan Schroers.
MRS Graduate Student Awards are intended to honor and encourage graduate students whose academic achievements and current materials science research display a high level of excellence and distinction. MRS seeks to recognize students of exceptional ability who show promise for significant future achievement in materials research and education. Yujun was selected as one of 19 finalists and gave an invited competition talk. His presentation titled "Atomistic Understanding of Crystallization Principles in Atomistic Understanding of Crystallization Principles for Additive Manufacturing" was selected as one of the 7 students to receive the Gold Award among the finalists.
One focus of Xie's research is developing predictable outcomes in crystallization when working on the nanoscale.
“My work aims to develop accurate crystallization models beyond conventional theories and enable precise control of the microstructures of the structural alloys over a wide range of length scales from Ångström to micrometer using advanced analytical transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques at unprecedented time and spatial resolution,” said Xie, who is now working with Prof. Peter Hosemann on learning the failure mechanism of composite materials in extreme
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For more information, click here.

DOE- Sponsored Research Addressing Protective Equipment During The Pandemic UCB-NE/LBNL Collaboration

DOE- Sponsored Research Addressing Protective Equipment During The Pandemic UCB-NE/LBNL Collaboration

August 19, 2020

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Since March 2020 it became obvious that Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) is essential to maintain core functions during a pandemic.

Essential workers are in need to receive reliable and convenient PPE, especially masks that are easy to breathe in. To address a need we work on a DOE-sponsored project with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

Our research and development focuses on two different aspects:

  1. Enhanced filtration and breathability by electrically enhanced filtration
  2. Castable mask designs (factory on a pallet)

The UCB-NE team of researchers Jason Duckering, Jeff Bickel, and Peter Hosemann worked together with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists Deepti Tanjore, Jeffrey Urban, Jaeyoo Choi, and Chaochao Dun to provide rapidly available masks with conventional or enhance filtration to essential workers.