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.

UCBNE Graduate Student Jaewon Lee Wins 3rd Place at IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference

UCBNE Graduate Student Jaewon Lee Wins 3rd Place at IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference

November 3 , 2021


UCBNE graduate student Jaewon Lee won 3rd place in the student competition of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference that took place on October 16th-23rd, 2021.

His submission, "Single Detector 3D Source Imaging Using a Kullback-Leibler Divergence Based Prior", improves the ability in the localization and mapping of radioactive materials in three dimensions in unconstrained environments overcoming challenges in conventional approaches.

In addition to Jaewon's presentation, eight other students of the Berkeley Applied Nuclear Physics program gave presentations: Kalie Knecht, Yifan Zheng, Ivan Cho, Jake Hecla, Robin Peter, Chris Lamb, Matt Marshall, and Michael Bondin.

Read more about the IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference here.

Congratulations Jaewon!

Development of CD46 targeted theranostics for imaging and treatment of cancer

AT Mt Zion
DR. Robert Flavell
Associate Professor
Section Chief, Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics
Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
University of California, San Francisco
FRI, 09/24/2018 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
Fall 2021 Colloquium Series

The development of novel molecular imaging and radionuclide treatments is changing the standard of care in patients with cancer. CD46 is an underexplored therapeutic target which is highly expressed in many cancers, in a lineage independent fashion. We have developed paired imaging and therapeutic agents, 89Zr-DFO-YS5, and 225Ac-DOTA-YS5, which are highly effective for detection and treatment of prostate cancer and multiple myeloma. These agents are highly effective in preclinical models and have strong promise for near-term clinical translation.

About the Speaker:

Robert Flavell, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Section of Molecular Imaging in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the University of California, San Francisco. He received his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, and his PhD from the Rockefeller University as part of the Tri-Institutional MD PhD program. He completed his one-year internship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Flavell completed a four-year diagnostic radiology residency at the University of California, San Francisco, where he also finished a Nuclear Medicine fellowship. In June 2016. he joined the faculty at UCSF as an Assistant Professor in Residence. Since 2019, he has been the Chief of the Division of Molecular Imaging and Therapeutics (formerly nuclear medicine), in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging. Dr. Flavell’s laboratory focuses on the development of new molecular imaging and therapeutic tools for better detection and treatment of prostate and other cancers.

RadWatch & DoseNet: building scientific literacy through a network of radiation and environmental sensors

Ali Hanks

Lecturer and Assistant Project Scientist in Nuclear Engineering

University of California, Berkeley

FRI, 09/10/2021 - 3:00PM TO 4:00PM
Fall 2021 Colloquium Series

The 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident serves as an example of the risks associated with energy technologies and the need to minimize physical as well as psychological effects on local and global communities. We have established the RadWatch and DoseNet community outreach programs to enhance the public understanding of risks associated with radiation exposure. The RadWatch program works to provide transparent, relevant measurements of radioactivity in our environment through measurements of locally sourced fish and produce. The ongoing monitoring of radiation in our environment provides the public with a clear baseline for what is “normal”. This work has since been expanded to include the use of neutron activation analyses to determine the concentrations of heavy metals in such samples, further contextualizing previous radiological measurements and our environmental impact. Similarly, the DoseNet project was developed to bring radiation and environmental data into classrooms and connect directly with students. DoseNet is a network of radiation and environmental sensors connecting schools in the Bay Area, Japan, and around the world. The DoseNet program has used this network to recruit a handful of high school students each summer as interns. These programs represent parts of a multidisciplinary undertaking to educate the next generation about radiation science, improve scientific literacy, and improve our communication of technical concepts to our communities.

About the Speaker:

Ali Hanks is a Lecturer and Project Scientist in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research is focused on advancements in radiation detection and imaging technologies. As head of the RadWatch and DoseNet outreach programs, a large part of her work focused on the applications of advanced radiation detection technologies towards public education and outreach. Dr. Hanks received her Ph.D. in High Energy Nuclear Physics from Columbia University as part of the PHENIX collaboration. She spent 4 years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stony Brook University, and then at UC Berkeley where she had a joint Postdoctoral position in the Physics and Nuclear Engineering departments. She has been an Assistant Project Scientist in the Department of Nuclear Engineering since 2017, and has worked as a Lecturer the last three years teaching a new course she designed based on her work with students in the DoseNet program.

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


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

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


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

TRISO vergari fratoni

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


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


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!