Advanced Reactors Overview at the Idaho National Laboratory

Youssef Ballout Bio INL
SPEAKER:

Youssef A. Ballout

Division Director, Reactor Systems Design & Analysis

DATE/TIME:
MON, 03/04/2024 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3106 ETCHEVERRY HALL

Abstract:

Dr. Youssef Ballout will discuss the historical evolution of reactor technology at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL).  Dr. Ballout will also discuss the three microreactors under construction at INL.  These microreactors are leading the path forward for allowing the advanced nuclear industry to bring the nuclear reactor technology necessary to fight climate change with energy produced with zero carbon emission.  The construction of these reactors will also open the way for the supply chain industry needed by the reactor start up industry.

Bio:

Dr. Youssef Ballout is the Director of Idaho National Laboratory’s (INL’s) Reactor Systems Design & Analysis division. He joined INL in December 2018 as the manager of the Fuel Design and Development Department. Prior to INL, he was the President of Elysium Industries Limited where he was engaged in leading the design and development of a molten chloride salt fast reactor. He also spent twenty-six years at the Naval Nuclear Laboratory (NNL)/Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory where he worked on nuclear reactor design, reactor materials, reactor thermal hydraulics, and rector structural performance. During his career at NNL, Dr. Ballout also managed the Space Structural Materials group in collaboration with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) supporting the design and analysis of the reactor for nuclear propulsion in outer space to explore the icy moons of Jupiter as part of the Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter (JIMO) project Prometheus. Over his career he worked on reactor design and reactor performance first as an experimentalist, then in modeling and simulation and often both at the same time. In addition to his technical contributions, Dr. Ballout spent many years in engineering and organizational leadership. Early in his career Dr. Ballout was a professor of engineering at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) where he taught engineering materials, design, and programming. He began his university education in Limoges, France, and ultimately received B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. engineering degrees from Wichita State University, Kansas.

Brachytherapy State of the Art and Future Directions

Adam Cunha
Adam Cunha
SPEAKER:

J. Adam M. Cunha

Assistant Professor 

DATE/TIME:
MON, 02/26/2024 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3106 ETCHEVERRY HALL

Abstract:

Radiation has been used for the treatment of cancer for over a century. Brachytherapy is a delivery method that introduces radioactive material directly into tumors (vs. using beams of radiation delivered from outside the body). The last decade has seen a period of rapid technological advancement for the clinical practice of brachytherapy that includes developments in robotic needle insertion devices, integrating electro-magnetic tracking technology, and customizing brachytherapy applicators to each individual patient with 3D printing technology. This talk is a snapshot of these recent brachytherapy technological advances and will conclude with a vision of where the field is going in the next 10 years.

Bio:

Dr. Cunha is an Associate Professor in the UCSF Department of Radiation Oncology. And the Director of the Graduate Program in Medical Physics, a joint effort between Radiation Oncology and UC Berkeley’s Department of Nuclear Engineering. He earned his Ph.D. in experimental particle physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a member of the BaBar collaboration, his thesis work explored subatomic particle interactions generated using the GeV-energy electron/positron linear accelerator at SLAC National Laboratory in Palo Alto, CA. Dr. Cunha specializes in all aspects of Brachytherapy including Optimization, Robotics, Electromagnetic (EM) Tracking, and 3D Printing applications.

The Applied Nuclear Physics Program at Lawrence Berkeley Lab: Advancing Radiation Detection Techniques through Coupling with Computer and Robotics Technologies

brianquiter
SPEAKER:

Dr. Brian Quiter

Staff Applied Physicist/Engineer and Deputy Program Head of the Applied Nuclear Physics Program

DATE/TIME:
MON, 01/29/2024 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL

Abstract:

Researchers in the Applied Nuclear Physics (ANP) program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have focused on developing new radiation detectors and radiation detection methods to solve problems related to mitigating the effects of nuclear disasters, preventing nuclear proliferation, enhancing nuclear security, and improving nuclear medicine. The new methods involve inducing and observing more esoteric signatures in a target medium, creating new radiation detectors to provide better information about distributions of radioactive material, and developing software and techniques to take advantage of the additional information these detection systems generate. This talk focuses on combining radiation detectors with robotics technologies to enable Scene Data Fusion (SDF) and the algorithmic work ANP has done to further improve the SDF technique for various applications.

Bio:

Dr. Quiter was educated at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his B.S. in Bio-Nuclear Engineering in 2003, his M.S. in 2005 for work related to the activation of neutrinoless double beta decay relevant materials, and his Ph.D. degree in Nuclear Engineering in 2010. Throughout his schooling, Dr. Quiter studied physics of, instrumentation for, and modeling of problems related to nuclear security applications such as nuclear detection problems, passive and active interrogation of intermodal cargo, pre-and post-detonation nuclear forensics, and nuclear safeguards. His Ph.D. thesis was entitled “Nuclear Resonance Fluorescence for Radioactive Materials Assay”. Dr. Quiter joined LBNL in August of 2010, was promoted to staff scientist in 2014 and Deputy Program Head of the Applied Nuclear Physics program in 2019. He has extensive experience modeling radiation transport and radiation detectors, coupling radiation sensors with robotics technologies, planning and performing radiological measurements in uncontrolled environments, and managing the vast and complicated data that multi-sensor systems can produce. Dr. Quiter leads a research portfolio comprising over a dozen scientists and engineers and maintains collaborations with academia, industry, and numerous other government laboratories.  

Constrained Bayesian Optimization of Experiments

Daniel Siefman
Daniel Siefman
SPEAKER:

Daniel Siefman

Assistant Professor 

DATE/TIME:
MON, 01/22/2024 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
LOCATION:
3105 ETCHEVERRY HALL

Abstract:

Engineering and research projects often involve optimizing a variable with respect to input parameters while respecting a constraint. For example, this might be optimizing the power production of a reactor by changing fuel parameters while maintaining a power peaking factor below a certain threshold. The design process can involve expensive modeling or physical experimentation, where the expense may be a combination of time, cost, manpower, or materials. Constrained Bayesian Optimization is a machine learning framework to optimize an engineered system while minimizing iterations of the resource intensive model or experiment. This seminar introduces the algorithm and shows its application to designing integral experiments for nuclear data validation, criticality safety, and advanced reactor neutronics mockups.

Bio:

Daniel Siefman became an assistant professor in the Nuclear Engineering Department in 2024. His research interests include critical and subcritical experiments and methods, nuclear data validation and adjustment, computational methods in radiation transport, neutron noise, reactor dosimetry, design optimization and safety analysis of nuclear reactors with machine learning, and nuclear power plant decommissioning. Daniel received a bachelor’s degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Florida in 2013, masters degrees in Nuclear Engineering from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and from ETH Zurich in 2015, and a PhD in Nuclear Engineering from EPFL in 2019. From 2019 to 2023, he was a staff scientist in the Nuclear Criticality Safety Division at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory supporting R&D efforts in integral experiments, nuclear data validation, radiation transport, neutron noise, and diagnostics for nuclear emergency response.