Christopher Reis’ poster wins 2nd Place at the US-Japan Hawaii Symposium

Christopher Reis' poster wins 2nd Place at the US-Japan Hawaii Symposium

April 27, 2021

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First-year graduate student Christopher Reis has won second place for his poster entitled Investigating the limits of high-temperature superconductors for high radiation environments with the US-Japan HEP collaboration, at the US-Japan Hawaii Symposium of the US-Japan Science and Technology Cooperation Program

His poster features work on radiation damage on superconductors. https://conference-indico.kek.jp/event/119/overview
Congratulations Chris!! Well done!!

The abstract for his marvelous paper here:
Nb-based low-temperature superconductors have underpinned the successes of particle accelerator technology over the last few decades. High-temperature superconductors (HTS) open a wider application space, enabling new capabilities for High Energy Physics, High-Field Magnetic Fusion, NMR, neutron, and X-ray scattering. With complimentary goals, expertise, and tools, our team is improving the technological readiness of these novel materials. This collaboration is centered around two main tasks: Investigating HTS technologies for high-radiation environments and measuring/modeling AC loss and field quality of HTS accelerator magnets. The insulation studies implicit to the first task have yielded a simple and scalable method to remove delamination damage of HTS REBCO tapes and seen the irradiation of new epoxies to 20 Mgy. From task one we have also shown that irradiation of these tapes above 1.80E22 n/m2 completely destroys superconductivity. For task two, the team has been employing both experimental tests and modeling to understand the practical limits of REBCO coated conductors due to a quench and methods of alleviation, and field quality of canted-cosine-theta magnets made from a round REBCO cable

SHERMAN: A UCBNE MEng Capstone Project Now Developed at LANL

SHERMAN: A UCBNE MEng Capstone Project Now Developed at LANL

March 12, 2021

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A former MEng Capstone project by Jay Lin was published as a paper last year, and now developed as a product at Los Alamos National Laboratory. It was renamed from RANHAM to SHERMAN (Sample Handling Environment for Radioactive Materials Analysis with Neutrons) and has a commissioning report due in September 2021.

It is planned to hold spend fuel rods for 3D tomography investigations at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE) accelerator.

To read the published paper: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s11837-019-03849-2.pdf

Looking forward to more excellent news from our Alumni!

ANS Magazine Radwaste Solutions features Lorenzo Vergari’s work

ANS Magazine 'Radwaste Solutions' features Lorenzo Vergari's work

March 10, 2021

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UCBNE PhD student Lorenzo Vergari's work is featured in the Spring 2021 Issue of the ANS Magazine 'Radwaste Solutions.' Entitled "Packaging TRISO," the article was based on Vergari's presentation of the same topic at the 2020 ANS Virtual Winter Meeting on November 16-19, 2020. He discusses storage and transportation strategies for used Fluoride Salt-Cooled High-Temperature Reactor fuel and identifies the next steps in the investigation before the suggestions can be put into effect.

ANS members can check this article out here. Starting on Page 68

Keep up the Excellent work Lorenzo!

Professor Max Fratoni awarded the Xenel Distinguished Professorship

Professor Max Fratoni awarded the Xenel Distinguished Professorship

February 19, 2021

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Professor Max Fratoni was awarded the Xenel Distinguished Professorship to honor his tireless effort for science, education, and service. He joins 3 other distinguished and chaired faculties in the department, and will hold the appointment for 5 years. This is an indication of the excellence we embody in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, and of the contributions we make to UC Berkeley.

Congratulations Professor Fratoni!

UCBNE Researchers and the search for Dark Matter

UCBNE Researchers and the search for Dark Matter

February 12, 2021

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UCBNE Professor Karl van Bibber and his group of researchers were featured on campus news for their recent publication in Nature introducing a new experiment to harness the "weirdness of quantum mechanics to accelerate the search for the axion, one of two leading hypothetical subatomic particles that may make up the bulk of dark matter in the universe."

This new technique, called quantum squeezing, allowed the HAYSTAC detector to search for axions at twice the speed as before. “The HAYSTAC detector was already essentially at the quantum limit, and now we’ve actually found a way of circumventing the quantum limit entirely,” said co-author Karl van Bibber, executive associate dean at Berkeley’s College of Engineering and one of the senior researchers on the HAYSTAC project. “Several theoretical works are now predicting that the axion mass is right in the frequency range where HAYSTAC is ready to go next. And we’ve got the cavities and amplifiers all lined up and ready to search.”

Read more in the glowing Berkeley News Article

Great work and congratulations to the research team, Very exciting developments!

The Nuclear Science and Security Consortium wins 5-year NNSA Grant for the third time

The Nuclear Science and Security Consortium wins 5-year NNSA Grant for the third time

January 27, 2021

Bay Area Neutron Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on 08/22/2017 in Berkeley, Calif.

The Berkeley-based center, the NSSC, has won the National Nuclear Security Administration's (NSSA) 5-year, $25 million grant for the third time in a row. The NNSA first awarded the NSSC with a $25 million grant in 2011, then in 2016, and now for Sept. 2021. UC Berkeley's Nuclear Engineering Department Chair, Professor Peter Hosemann, highlights  this "is particularly notable given that most centers only receive it once or twice."

There is a recompetition for the grant every 5 years, as detailed by UCB Nuclear Engineering professor and NSSC program director, Jasmina Vujic: “We have to recompete — this is not renewal — every single time, meaning we have to write an entirely new proposal, have an entirely new team, and compete on a national level against anybody else."

The NSSC has supported over 550 undergraduates, graduates, postdoctoral students, faculty and specialists throughout its history. Focusing most of its funding to student support. “The consortium provides a strong draw for students into nuclear security and nonproliferation research areas,” said NSSC executive director and UCB researcher Bethany Goldblum in an email. “These scholars will go on to be leaders in nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear arms control, nuclear incident response, nuclear energy, and other nuclear-related fields.” 

We congratulate Professor Vujic, Dr. Goldblum, and those that contributed to the successful proposal. To another successful and fruitful 5 years ahead!

Read more on the Daily Cal's feature

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/

 

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!

The Transformational Challenge Reactor

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SPEAKER:
KURT TERRANI, Ph.D.
DATE/TIME:
MON, 08/31/2020 - 4:00PM TO 5:00PM
LOCATION:
Zoom
Fall 2020 Colloquium Series
Abstract:

This talk provides and overview of motivation behind and ongoing activities towards development and deployment of the Transformational Challenge Reactor (TCR)

About the Speaker:
Kurt Terrani is a Senior Staff Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Director of Transformational Challenge Reactor program for U.S. DOE, Office of Nuclear Energy. He joined the laboratory as a Weinberg Fellow in the Nuclear Fuel Materials Group in 2010 after completing his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on fundamental aspects of nuclear fuel and materials manufacturing, radiation effects, and behavior.