UCBNE students attend the 2021 Washington Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation (NESD)

UCBNE students join the 2021 Washington Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation

October 8th, 2021

The whole Washington Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation (NESD)
The whole Washington Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation (NESD)

Sarah Stevenson (4th year Ph.D. student), Malachi Nelson (2nd year Ph.D. student) and Laura Shi (senior undergraduate) represented UCB NE at the 2021 Washington Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation (NESD) from September 26th through October 1st.

The Washington NESD is an independently organized program with the goal of allowing students studying nuclear science and engineering to acquire hands-on experience with the political process to learn how they can make a positive impact on the future of nuclear energy, policy, education, and research. This year’s delegation was composed of 17 students from 12 universities with the largest representation from UC Berkeley.

The delegation met with representatives from key institutions such as the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the American Nuclear Society, the Nuclear Energy Institute, the Nuclear Innovation Alliance, ClearPath, and ThirdWay. Members of the delegation also met with their local representatives, including Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA 13th District) to discuss the importance of investing in the future of nuclear education and energy in the Bay Area.

This experience gave delegates the opportunity to gain new perspectives on insights on the US policy-making process. The delegation also worked together to create a policy memo that conveyed the student’s views on nuclear energy, education, and research and advocated for the passage of active legislation. To read the policy memo and learn more about the delegation, please visit www.nesd.org.

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]

Three UCBNE Alumni Receive NSSC Awards

Three UCBNE Alumni Receive NSSC Awards

September 3rd, 2021

From Left to Right: Hi Vo, Kelly Kmak, Mark Straub
From Left to Right: Hi Vo, Kelly Kmak, Mark Straub

Three UCBNE alumni have been awarded the 2021 Nuclear Science and Security Consortium's Awards for Outstanding Publication and Outstanding Thesis.

Mark Straub (PhD in Chemistry awarded May 14, 2021) won for Best Reviewed Publication with "Recent Advances in Nuclear Forensic Chemistry", which was featured as a cover article in a special issue of Analytical Chemistry. Read more about this article here.

Kelly Kmak (PhD awarded May 14, 2021) won for Outstanding Thesis for Radiochemistry and Forensics with “Investigation of the 230Th(p,2n)229Pa Reaction as a Route to 225Ac”.

Hi Vo (PhD awarded May 14, 2021) won for Outstanding Thesis for Nuclear Engineering with “Influence of Defects’ Mechanical Stability on Microscale Plasticity and Failure”.

The NSSC Outstanding Publication Award is awarded annually by the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium to the lead author(s) of an outstanding peer-reviewed paper published in the areas of basic and applied science and engineering supporting the nation’s nuclear security and nonproliferation mission.

The NSSC Outstanding Thesis Award is awarded annually by the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium to scholars who have completed an exceptional thesis in the areas of basic and applied science and engineering supporting the nation’s nuclear security and nonproliferation mission.

These highly competitive awards honor NSSC Fellows and Affiliates for their excellent contributions to nuclear security science.

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

Raluca Scarlat_website photo

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!

 

NE Graduate Austin Lo featured in the Titans of Nuclear Podcast

NE Graduate Austin Lo featured in the Titans of Nuclear Podcast

August 23, 2021

Untitled design
Austin Lo was featured in the latest episode of the Titans of Nuclear podcast. After completing his Ph.D. candidacy at UCBNE in 2020, Austin joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a postdoctoral Researcher. Now he joins hundreds of noteworthy experts and professionals in the field to grace the podcast with their expertise, including two of our Professors, Rachel Slaybaugh and Per Peterson (both featured back in 2018).
In episode 329, Austin discusses his dissertation, space nuclear power, the evolution of R&D, and expanding nuclear innovation. Listen, Watch, and/or View show notes here.

 

Titans of Nuclear is an audio encyclopedia of interviews with the greatest minds in Nuclear Energy. The show has been airing since 2018 and was started by Bret Kugelmass, a Stanford MS mechanical engineer, robotics entrepreneur, and climate change thought leader. Bret identified a severe disconnect between nuclear and tech adjacent communities as impediments to innovation, financing, and social acceptance. He has built the podcast in order to help educate around the nuances of the world's most vital clean energy source. He is joined by co-hosts Jadwiga Najder, a Polish nuclear engineer and advocate, and Olubunmi Olajida, a Nigerian energy policy analyst. Titans of Nuclear is enjoyed by over 50,000 subscribers across 147 counties (and counting). If you'd like to recommend a guest or to give us feedback, you can do so here. And if you want to help others find us as well, please take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes.

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

Haley Williams featured in the latest issue of Frontiers in Energy Research

Haley Williams featured in the latest issue of Frontiers in Energy Research

July 1st, 2021

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Haley Williams, a PhD student at UC Berkeley who is working with Raluca Scarlat, contributed an article highlighting the efforts of both FUTURE and MSEE in understanding the fundamental properties of molten salts and their role in laying the groundwork for future molten salt reactors. Haley's article - Clean energy you don't have to take with a grain of salt - can be found here: https://www.energyfrontier.us/content/clean-energy-you-dont-have-take-grain-salt

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