Nuclear Energy: Achievements, Lessons Learned & Prospects

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SPEAKER:
ROBERT A. BARI, PH.D.

SENIOR PHYSICIST,
BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABORATORY

DATE/TIME:
MON, 06/06/2016 – 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2016 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The historical development of nuclear energy as an enabling technology will be reviewed. Current successes and key milestones will be presented. Lessons-learned from the three major nuclear accidents during the past four decades will be assessed and subsequent actions and mitigation strategies will be presented. There is much activity world-wide at this time by developers and users of nuclear energy and related technologies. These will be highlighted along with some of the challenges that remain for the future of nuclear energy.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Robert A. Bari is a Senior Physicist at Brookhaven National Laboratory and has over 40 years of experience in nuclear energy. For more than 25 years, Dr. Bari served at all levels of management at the laboratory. He is co-chairman of the working group on proliferation resistance and physical protection of the Generation IV International Forum. Dr. Bari has served on the Board of Directors of the American Nuclear Society and as President of the International Association for Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management. He was awarded the Theo J. “Tommy” Thompson Award in 2003 by the American Nuclear Society. In 2004, he received the Brookhaven National Laboratory Award for Outstanding Achievement in Science and Technology.  He is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society and of the American Physical Society. He has been a committee member of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences on Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving Safety and Security of the U.S. Nuclear Plants. Dr. Bari has also recently chaired a workshop of the U. S. National Academy of Sciences on safety and security culture held jointly between the U.S. and Brazil in Sao Paolo.  He received his doctorate from Brandeis University (1970) and his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University (1965). He was awarded membership in the Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and Sigma Pi Sigma honor societies.

The Opportunity of Global Nuclear Innovation

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SPEAKER:
RACHEL SLAYBAUGH, PH.D.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR,
DEPT. OF NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY

DATE/TIME:
MON, 04/25/2016 – 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2016 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

To expand our ability to improve global health, the environment, and prosperity, a new level of innovation in nuclear energy is needed because nuclear must be an integral component of our low carbon strategy. However, nuclear faces both technical and non-technical challenges that prevent it from contributing as much as it could. This talk covers some of these challenges, what it might look like if we overcome those challenges, and some actions being taken in the U.S. to make this possible. Specifically, we’re building a pipeline:
1. To train university students and professionals in nuclear innovation to shift the mindset of the workforce by starting a Nuclear Innovation “Bootcamp” program.
2. To support startups and companies developing new ideas so they have a higher chance of success by building Nuclear Innovation Centers.
3. To allow private companies to access publicly-developed resources to lower the cost and technology barriers to success through the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear, or GAIN.

These initiatives, supported by appropriate legislative changes and international engagement, can create a new set of opportunities for global nuclear innovation.

 

About the Speaker:

Rachel Slaybaugh is an assistant professor of nuclear engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. At Berkeley, Prof. Slaybaugh’s research program is based in computational methods and applied to existing and advanced nuclear reactors, nuclear non-proliferation and security, and shielding applications.

Prof. Slaybaugh is also developing programs to train and inspire the next generation for nuclear innovation. She received a BS in nuclear engineering from Penn State in 2006, where she served as a licensed nuclear reactor operator. Slaybaugh went on to the University of Wisconsin–Madison to earn an MS in 2008 and a PhD in 2011 in nuclear engineering and engineering physics along with a certificate in energy analysis and policy. Throughout her career, Slaybaugh has been engaged in Software Carpentry education and training; she is particularly interested in reproducibility in computational science.

IAEA Activities in Support of Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems Development and Deployment

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SPEAKER:
STEFANO MONTI, PH.D.

HEAD OF THE NUCLEAR POWER TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT SECTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA)

DATE/TIME:
MON, 04/18/2016 – 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2016 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) actively supports its Member States in the development of evolutionary and innovative nuclear reactors. With the fundamental support of its Technical Working Groups, the IAEA defines and implements multiannual programs which, in particular, are intended to help Member States in improving their capabilities in the development, design, safety analyses and deployment of nuclear power reactors.

Supporting the verification, validation and qualification of the simulation codes used for the design and safety analyses of innovative reactors is a relevant part of this program. Thanks to the information provided by the Member States, the IAEA is in the position to carry out benchmark exercises based on the experimental data gathered during the past operation of prototypes and demonstrators. Examples of such initiatives are the coordinated research projects on: SCWR Thermal-Hydraulic, HTGR Uncertainty Analysis, BN-600, Monju, Phenix, EBR-II and PFBR reactors, as well as the planned one on FFTF.

The exchange of information is also a major objective. In the frame of its Nuclear Safety Action Plan, in February 2015 the IAEA conducted the “International Experts Meeting on Strengthening Research and Development Effectiveness in the Light of the Accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant”, which was followed by a Technical Meeting on “Post-Fukushima Research and Development Strategies and Priorities”. Furthermore, after the two successful “IAEA Conferences on Fast Reactors and Related Fuel Cycles”, held in 2009 in Kyoto and in 2013 in France, the preparation of the next event, to be held in 2017 in the Russian Federation, has just started. The collection of data also allows the IAEA to publish and update status reports and technical documents, as well as to develop databases with the most up-to-date information on advanced reactor technologies. The major service offered by the IAEA in this area is the “Advanced Reactors Information System (ARIS)”, a web-accessible database that provides Member States with comprehensive and balanced information about all advanced reactor designs and concepts.

The IAEA is also committed to promote the international harmonization of many aspects of the fast reactors technology. A major example is the development – together with the Generation IV International Forum – of internationally agreed Safety Design Criteria and Safety Design Guidelines for sodium cooled fast reactors and High Temperature Gas Reactors. The ongoing CRP on “Sodium properties and safe operation of experimental facilities in support of the development and deployment of Sodium-cooled Fast Reactors (SFR) – NAPRO” is aimed at harmonizing several technical aspects of SFR research. With complementary objectives, the IAEA is developing a catalogue of existing and planned experimental facilities in support of liquid-metal cooled fast neutron systems.

Finally, the IAEA is very much committed on the education and training of the next generation nuclear engineers and researchers, and regularly organizes training courses using its large suit of PC-based NPP simulators for education.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Stefano Monti is currently the Head of the Nuclear Power Technology Development Section of the International Atomic Energy Agencyin Vienna. From May 2011 to January 2015 he covered the position of IAEA Team Leader for Fast Reactor Technology Development.

For more than 30 years he has been working on several national and international projects and programmes on advanced nuclear systems, leading a number of international research groups. As Director of Research at ENEA (Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development), he was Head of the Division Reactor and Fuel Cycle Safety and Security Methods, President of the SIET company carrying out safety tests for the licensing of advanced GEN-III and SMR systems, and scientific coordinator of the Italian R&D programme on nuclear fission. He has served in a number of national and international nuclear committees, among which the Board of Directors of the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics, the Steering Committee of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency, the Executive Committee of the European Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform.

He has published more than 200 papers in refereed international journals and conference proceedings. Dr. Monti holds a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Bologna (Italy).

Here be Dragons: Mysteries of the Neutrino

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SPEAKER:
GABRIEL OREBI GANN, PH.D.

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR
DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY

DATE/TIME:
MON, 04/11/2016 – 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2016 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Neutrinos are one of the most fascinating particles that occur in nature. Hundreds of millions of times smaller than the proton, the neutrino was once thought to be massless and to travel at the speed of light.  Huge strides have been made in our understanding of neutrinos in past decades, with the resolution of the solar neutrino problem providing clear evidence of neutrino oscillation and, thus, a non-zero neutrino mass – a Nobel-Prize winning discovery. This has allowed us to move beyond basic questions to a precision era, in which we can study detailed properties of these fundamental particles. This talk will introduce the SNO+ experiment, which will seek to resolve the very nature of the neutrino: is it unique among fermions as being its own antiparticle?  We will then discuss future prospects for the field, including exciting new technological developments that could permit a new kind of neutrino experiment, with a broad experimental program and wide physics reach.

About the Speaker:

Gabriel Orebi Gann attended the University of Cambridge in the UK from 2000 to 2004, where she received her BA and MSci in Natural Sciences. She went on to the University of Oxford, and was awarded her DPhil in Particle and Nuclear Physics in 2008. Her post-doctoral research was performed at the University of Pennsylvania, in Professor Klein’s research group, working on SNO and its successor, the SNO+ experiment. Gabriel joined the U.C. Berkeley faculty in 2012.

Accelerator Research in the U.S. for High Energy Physics: A biased perspective

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SPEAKER:
WILLIAM BARLETTA, PH.D.

DIRECTOR, US PARTICLE ACCELERATOR SCHOOL, FERMILAB

DATE/TIME:
MON, 03/14/2016 – 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2016 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The U.S. could move boldly toward accelerating transformational accelerator research for high-energy physics. Profound questions remain to be answered in particle physics; recent discoveries reconfirm the value of continued investments. However, going beyond the present generation of high energy accelerators will require changing the capability-cost curve of accelerators, which can only happen through an aggressive, sustained, and imaginative R&D program aimed at building the future accelerators at a dramatically lower cost. Both of us were members of Department of Energy panel that recently studied the potential structure of such a research program. We participated fully in the process and approve the report.  Nonetheless, our experience led us to continue and extend our analysis of the issues that will drive accelerator research aimed at future accelerators for high-energy physics with the aim of informing interested physicists from all disciplines, not just accelerator experts. Broadly, we will look at prospects for proton-proton colliders and electron-position colliders – all interlaced with our biases and (and perhaps not politically correct) opinions.

About the Speaker:

William Barletta is Director of the US Particle Accelerator School at Fermilab. He is also Adjunct Professor of Physics at MIT and UCLA and Director Emeritus of the Accelerator Division and Homeland Security Program at LBNL.

In Europe he is senior advisor to the President of Sincrotrone Trieste, Italy, and Visiting Professor, Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. He is a member of the Scientific Council of Centro Fermi in Rome and also co-chair of the Permanent Monitoring (PMP) on Energy of the World Federation of Scientists and Member of the PMP on Information Security. He is also inaugural Director of the Korean Particle Accelerator School and co-convener of the Joint International Accelerator School, a collaboration of USPAS, CERN,
Japan’s KEK lab and the Budker Institute in Russia.

His broad range of professional research activities include free electron laser physics for ultra-fast synchrotron radiation science, design of colliders, high intensity linacs and cyclotrons for high energy and nuclear physics, ion beam technology for nanofabrication of integrated circuits, and compact plasma-based neutron and gamma sources for medicine, research and security applications. He has strong secondary research interests in international legal and policy aspects of cyber-security and cyber-conflict and in strategic management of research institutions.

He is editor and co-author of four books about accelerator science and co-author of four books concerning cybersecurity, privacy and international cyber-law. He holds four patents, and is author of >170 scientific papers. He holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago and is a fellow
of the American Physical Society.

Proving the Negative: The Evolution of Nuclear Safeguards and Challenges for Implementation

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SPEAKER:
LANCE KIM, PH.D.
DATE/TIME:
MON, 02/29/2016 – 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2016 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

Under its State Level Concept, the International Atomic Energy Agency envisions a State Level Approach for safeguards implementation that considers, inter alia, a state’s nuclear and nuclear-related activities and capabilities as a whole when developing an annual safeguards implementation plan. As safeguards planning has become more dependent upon predictions of acquisition path completion time and assurances of the absence of undeclared activities, safeguards effectiveness and efficiency are potentially undermined when a state’s capabilities are underestimated. To begin to address these issues, this talk will first explore theory and evidence to characterize sources of uncertainty affecting estimates of completion time. The hide-and-seek dynamic affecting the detection of undeclared activities will then be considered, introducing optimal search theory to inform stopping criteria for search efforts. Based on this discussion, several policy-relevant insights are identified that contribute to the ongoing development of the State Level Concept.

About the Speaker:

Lance K. Kim was most recently a Research Fellow in the Nuclear Security Unit of the Institute for Transuranium Elements at the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy. His research focused on open source information acquisition and analysis for nuclear security and non-proliferation, and on Acquisition Pathways Analysis in support of the European Commission Support Program to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Department of Safeguards. Prior to the JRC, his work experience include stints at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in reactor safety, the IAEA as a US Support Program Fellow in safeguards, the Department of State as in intern in verification and compliance, and the RAND Corporation as a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow. He is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a B.S. in Nuclear and Mechanical Engineering, a M.P.P. in Public Policy, and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering where he was a Public Policy and Nuclear Threats Fellow.

Low-dose Radiation: A Problem or a Solution?

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SPEAKER:
MOHAN DOSS, PH.D., MCCPM

MEDICAL PHYSICIST
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR,
DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING
FOX CHASE CANCER CENTER

DATE/TIME:
MON, 02/08/2016 – 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2016 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The carcinogenic effect of low-dose radiation (LDR) has been debated intensely in the scientific community over the past several decades, with many publications supporting the linear no-threshold (LNT) model for radiation-induced cancers and others supporting the opposite concept of radiation hormesis, i.e. reduction of cancers with LDR. Since the 1950s, international and national advisory bodies have overwhelmingly recommended the use of the LNT model as a conservative approach to radiation safety. The atomic bomb survivor data, which are generally considered to be the most important data for determining the health effects of radiation, were until recently consistent with the LNT model, and have been used to justify the LDR cancer concerns based on the LNT model. However, following the 2012 update, these data are no longer consistent with the LNT model but are compatible with radiation hormesis. In addition, considerable amount of evidence supporting radiation hormesis has accumulated over the years, and major flaws have been identified in the publications supporting the LNT model, negating their conclusions. Thus, a resolution of the contentious issue of LDR health effects appears to be emerging in favor of radiation hormesis. If the validity of radiation hormesis is confirmed and recognized by the scientific community, it would reduce the fear and concerns regarding LDR exposures and result in rescinding of the present LNT model-based stringent radiation safety regulations. This would reduce objections to nuclear power plants and reduce the cost of nuclear power considerably enabling resurgence of clean, safe, reliable, and inexpensive nuclear power to meet the growing energy requirements of the world. Also, considering the slow progress in reducing cancer mortality rates over the past five decades in spite of tremendous efforts in the war on cancer, and considering the significant decrease in cancers observed following incidental or accidental LDR exposures, LDR may indeed turn out to be an important part of the solution to the cancer problem

About the Speaker:

Dr Mohan Doss received his B.Sc. degree in Physics from Madras University, India and his M.Sc. degree in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. He obtained M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from Carnegie-Mellon University, with his thesis work in the area of medium energy nuclear physics.
COLLOQUIUM SERIES
SPRING 2016 University of California, Berkele y
After post-doctoral research positions at Nuclear Physics Laboratory of University of Washington, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and Saskatchewan Accelerator Laboratory, he became a Medical Physicist providing physics support for Nuclear Medicine Department of Regina General Hospital in Regina, Canada. He has certification as a Member of Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine. Presently, he is a Medical Physicist in the Diagnostic Imaging Department of Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia providing physics support. His research interests include optimization of PET imaging in oncology, biodistribution and dosimetry of novel PET imaging agents, PET imaging of Y-90 microspheres, control of non-cancer diseases using low-dose radiation, and prevention and treatment of cancer using low-dose radiation. He is one of the founding members of the international group Scientists for Accurate Radiation Information which aims to reduce the harm from radiophobia by providing accurate information on the health effects of radiation. He was the recipient of the Outstanding Leadership Award by the International Dose-Response Society in 2014.

Nuclear Science and Security Consortium: Training the Next Generation of Experts

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SPEAKER:
JASMINA VUJIC, PH.D.

PROFESSOR OF NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
PROGRAM DIRECTOR, NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND SECURITY CONSORTIUM
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY

DATE/TIME:
MON, 02/01/2016 – 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2016 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

The Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NSSC) enlists seven of the Nation’s premier educational institutions and four DOE national laboratories to grow and strengthen the human capital available for the Nation’s nuclear science and security mission.  The NSSC was established in 2011 through the $25 million five-year grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE NNSA) to support the Nation’s nuclear nonproliferation mission through the training and education of experts in the nuclear science and security field. An additional $1.5 million was awarded to NSSC in 2012, to expend nuclear science and security training and education to Minority Serving Institutions.  Over the last 4 years, NSSC has focused on broad recruitment of students at all levels, selecting those with solid science and engineering foundation, who then went through a rigorous hands-on training at undergraduate and graduate levels in the fields of nuclear physics, nuclear and radiation chemistry, nuclear engineering, nuclear instrumentation and nuclear security policy. Overall, more than 300 students, faculty and specialists have been directly involved with NSSC, working on more than 50 research projects. The NSSC-funded students and faculty have a strong collaboration with 4 national laboratories (LBNL, LNL, LANL and SNL), and work closely with over 60 lab researchers that also provide mentorship to the NSSC students and post-docs. In addition,  under the NSSC umbrella, the new programs, options, curricula, courses, and training programs have been developed. A series of workshops, panels and summer schools have been organized on the topics critical to nuclear security.

About the Speaker:

Prof. Vujic is a full professor and former Chair at the Department of Nuclear Engineering, UC Berkeley. She is an expert in the areas of nuclear reactor physics, radiation detection and measurements, non-proliferation, and engineering aspects of medical imaging and cancer therapy. Professor Vujic is the author of three books, the editor of 6 monographs, and the holder of one U.S. patent. She authored close to 300 research publications. Under her mentorship, 26 students received the Ph.D. degrees and 25 received the M.S. degrees. In 2011, the team led by Professor Vujic, won a major five-year $25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (NNSA) to establish the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium Center at Berkeley that focuses on educating the next generation of scientists and researchers in the nuclear science and security field.

A Noob’s Guide to Reproducibility

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SPEAKER:
PHILIP B. STARK, PH.D.

PROFESSOR OF STATISTICS
SENIOR FELLOW, BERKELEY INSTITUTE OF DATA SCIENCE
ASSOCIATE DEAN, DIVISION OF MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY

DATE/TIME:
MON, 01/25/2016 – 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL
Spring 2016 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

What does it mean to work reproducibly and transparently? Why bother? Whom does it benefit, and how? What will it cost me? What work habits will I need to change? Will I need to learn new tools? What resources help? What’s the simplest thing I can do to make my work more reproducible? How can I move my discipline, my institution, and science as a whole towards reproducibility?

About the Speaker:

Philip B. Stark is professor of Statistics and associate dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at UC Berkeley. He works on inverse problems and uncertainty quantification with applications including astrophysics, cosmology, ecology, education, elections, food, geophysics, health, legislation, litigation, and risk.

His CV is at www.stat.berkeley.edu/~stark/bio.pdf