Peter Hosemann Hosts UC Berkeley Manufacturing of Materials Workshop

Professor Peter Hosemann Hosts Manufacturing of Materials Workshop

March 29th, 2023


UCBNE Professor Peter Hosemann assisted in hosting the workshop "Research & Development: Manufacturing of Materials for Industry Applications" March 27th-29th with members of industry, government and academia. 70 participants discussed the need for comprehensive materials evaluation in the context of manufacturing processes. Each day focused on a different topic, including hard materials and coating technologies, additive manufacturing and electronic materials processing.

The event was sponsored by UCB's Manufacturing 360 center.

Jake Hecla attending international meeting in Poland to discuss situation in Ukraine

Jake Hecla attending international meeting in Poland to discuss situation in Ukraine

October 10th, 2022

Jake Hecla (on the left) and the participants of the “Environmental Radioactivity Risks in Ukraine” conference.
Jake Hecla (on the left) and the participants of the “Environmental Radioactivity Risks in Ukraine” conference.

Jake Hecla, one of our graduate students in the Department of Nuclear Engineering attended the international meeting on “Environmental Radioactivity Risks in Ukraine” last week (5-6 Oct.), organized by Japanese, Polish, and Ukrainian institutions. The goal of this meeting was to assemble experts in radiological measurements and modeling to discuss ongoing research in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (ChEZ), the impact of the ongoing war, and the establishment of state-of-the art monitoring capabilities.

From Ukraine, representatives from the State Agency of Ukraine of Exclusion Zone Management and the Ukraine Academy of Science’s Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants (ISPNPP) provided their perspectives on the current situation in ChEZ and more broadly in Ukraine including the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP).

Jake Hecla presented on “3D Mapping and Visualization of Radioactive Sources” comprising the advanced technologies developed at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to create three-dimensional maps of radiological contamination in near real time from a wide range of platforms including ground robots or small unmanned aerial systems. Jake, other graduate students and LBNL scientists have been able to demonstrate the so-called Scene Data Fusion technology over the last 10 years in the contaminated areas of Fukushima in Japan and in Chernobyl, specifically within the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) and its surrounding including the evacuated city of Pripyat.

Ukrainian participants of this meeting expressed strong interest in utilizing the Berkeley-developed 3D mapping capabilities for the assessment and monitoring of structural and radiological components within the New Safe Confinement or New Shelter, for example related to the large amounts of remaining nuclear fuel containing materials but also in the mapping of the vast outdoor environments within ChEZ and its border.

We hope to be able to find ways to provide these technologies to Ukraine very soon and to allow the utilization of the latest mapping and visualization technologies to effectively and safely assess and monitor the nuclear facilities and associated activities in and around ChNPP but also in and around ZNPP and more broadly, in response to any intentional or accidental event resulting in the release of large amounts of radioactive materials. Gamma Reality Inc. has recently commercialized the SDF technologies and would be able to provide systems to our Ukrainian partners.

Dark Matter featured at the “Exploratorium After Dark”

Dark Matter featured at the “Exploratorium After Dark”

April 28, 2022

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On April 28, fifteen members of the van Bibber research group created an exhibition on the search for dark matter at the popular Thursday evening series “The Exploratorium After Dark” in San Francisco.  The group’s research, the evidence for dark matter and experimental search strategies were on display via multiple plasma screens, posters, and hands-on demonstrations of the microwave technology employed in their experiments looking for the axion.  Group alumna Maria Simanovskaia, currently a postdoc at Stanford University, gave one of two lectures during the evening on her own work hunting for dark matter.  As one of the first in person events after the pandemic, the evening was a great success, drawing more than 900 attendees

Kairos Power Commissions Fluoride Salt Purification Plant 

Kairos Power Commissions Fluoride Salt Purification Plant 

July 20th, 2022


Kairos Power in conjunction with Materion Corporation, designed a molten salt purification plant that has just been commissioned at Materion’s campus in Ohio because Kairos Power requires a source of high-purity fluoride salt for testing in its molten salt reactor design, as well as to serve as the coolant in its grid-scale fluoride salt–cooled, high-temperature reactor.

Find out more here.




Professors Abergel, Fratoni, Hosemann Receive U.S. Department of Energy NEUP Grants

Professors Abergel, Fratoni, Hosemann Received U.S. Department of Energy NEUP Grants

June 17th, 2022

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The Nuclear Engineering department received DOE Nuclear Energy related research awards of 4.7M$ as a lead institution and further funding as a collaborating institution. These funds will support several different research programs.

The Integrated Research Program lead by Professor Fratoni entitled "Bridging the gap between experiments and modeling
to improve the design of molten salt reactors".

The NEUP lead by Professor Abergel entitled "Advanced Screening Approaches for Accelerating Development of
Separations Technologies".

The NEUP lead by Professor Hosemann "High throughput mechanical testing of additively-manufactured materials" will utilize femto second laser ablation in combination with the automated microscale tensile tester to evaluate additive manufactured materials and generate data for quality control and ML approaches together with microstructure analysis.

The NEUP lead by Professor Hosemann "Science-Based Development of ASTM standard tests for graphite-based fuel pebbles" together with X-energy, ORNL and the University of Florida, will use conventional methods and develop new methods to obtain a fundamental understanding of the failure modes in pebble fuels during use and to quantify the failure rate to proctor quality control and predict performance.

Find out more here.




Per Peterson Awarded the ANS Walter Zinn Medal 

Per Peterson Awarded the ANS Walter Zinn Medal 

June 9th, 2022


Professor Per Peterson has been awarded the 2022 American Nuclear Society's Walter H. Zinn Medal in recognition of "his contributions to the development of technologies for passive safety in nuclear reactors, and his leadership to develop and commercialize fluoride salt–cooled high-temperature reactors".

The Walter H. Zinn Medal recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to the advancement or implementation of nuclear technology. This award is to recognize notable and sustained technical contribution, leadership, or other service that has not been widely recognized, and is considered one of highest honors ANS has to give.

Find out more here.

Congratulations Professor Peterson!



Kairos Power receives 2022 BloombergNEF Pioneer Award

Kairos Power receives 2022 BloombergNEF Pioneer Award

April 14th, 2022


BloombergNEF has announced its twelve winners of the 2022 BNEF Pioneers program, including Department of Nuclear Engineering professor Per Peterson and alumni Mike Laufer and their team at Kairos Power. Kairos Power was recognized for its "novel advanced nuclear reactor technology to complement renewable energy sources". For over a decade, this program has sought to identify and highlight technological innovations that accelerate global decarbonization and halt climate change.

You can read more about this achievement here.

UCBNE CUORE Collaboration and the Search for Matter

UCBNE CUORE Collaboration and the Search for Matter

April 6th, 2022


"Search for Majorana neutrinos exploiting millikelvin cryogenics with CUORE" has been published in Nature. The Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events (CUORE, Italian for “heart”) is one of several next generation neutrinoless double-beta decay (0νββ) experiments. Affilated with the published article include those from the UC Berkeley Department of Physics, the Nuclear Science Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Engineering Divison of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, as well as the UC Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering.

The link to the article can be found here. And further coverage of the article can be found here.

Raluca Scarlat Selected for U.S. Department of Energy’s Nuclear Advisory Team

Raluca Scarlat Selected for U.S. Department of Energy's Nuclear Advisory Team

February 9th, 2022

Raluca Scarlat is among eleven members named to the Department of Energy's Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee, which advises the secretary and the assistant secretary for nuclear energy on current priorities in the department's programs. "A change in the structure and focus in NEAC will help DOE act more quickly and effectively to research advances in nuclear power to meet the nation's energy, environmental, and national security needs,” said Andy Griffith, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Supply Chain. NEAC is structured to provide input from multiple perspectives, with Raluca Scarlat representing the university perspective.

Raluca Scarlat is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, heads the SALT Laboratory at University of California Berkeley, and is the recipient of the ANS Mary Jane Oestmann Award. Professor Scarlat has expertise in high temperature chemistry and materials for advanced reactors, reactor design and safety analysis, and engineering ethics.

Hi Vo, our former grad student and NSSC fellow awarded a LANL directors funded post doc.

Hi Vo, our former grad student and NSSC fellow awarded a LANL directors funded post doc.

February 11th, 2022

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Across all divisions, the LANL postdocs went through a competitive process in order to be selected for the fellowship based on previous research merit and the strength of the postdoc research proposal.
Director Postdoc fellowship provides full, 2/3, 1/3 funding for each subsequent year to support Hi Vo's research proposal.
Hi Vo's Director funded research proposal is on the exploration of unit and collective plastic deformation processes using in situ 4DSTEM mechanical testing and 3D-EBSD.

Congratulations Hi Vo! What a wonderful achievement!