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September 2019

Detoxing Nuclear Waste using Molten Salts: Can Nuclear Power be Unchained from Nuclear Proliferation?

September 30, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Abstract: Regardless of aqueous and non-aqueous techniques, conventional reprocessing is not accessible for many countries running nuclear power plants due to Pu diversion concerns. Considering that only some of the fission products present in used nuclear fuel dominate the environmental impact of a final waste repository, removing them selectively whilst retaining the actinides in solid mixtures would be a major breakthrough. This goal could be achieved using molten salt oxide reduction. This process may also allow for the conversion of…

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October 2019

Designing, modeling, and executing experiments at the Annular Core Research Reactor

October 7, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Abstract: After a 35-year hiatus, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is executing a series of experiments looking at the thermostructural response of materials at the Annular Core Research Reactor (ACRR).  The purpose of these experiments is to help validate a radiation transport code and a finite element structural code used at the laboratory.  The radiation transport was modeled using the Monte Carlo radiation transport code, Mercury.  The energy deposition from the Mercury simulation was then input into the finite element code,…

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Status of the Versatile Test Reactor program

October 14, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
3105 Etcheverry Hall, 3105 Etcheverry Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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Abstract: The Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) program is aiming at designing and building an advanced test reactor in the U.S. within 10 years. This reactor will bridge the current capability gap in irradiation capabilities, effectively supporting development of all types of advanced reactors through enabling accelerated material and fuel testing. At this stage, the VTR is a 300 MWth sodium-cooled fast reactor using metallic fuel bearing plutonium. It allows achieving fast flux in excess of 4x1015 n/cm2, offers very large irradiation…

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The Single Volume Camera Project Overview

October 21, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
3105 Etcheverry Hall, 3105 Etcheverry Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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Co-Hosted with NSSC Abstract: The Single Volume Scatter Camera (SVSC) Collaboration is multi-institution effort lead by Sandia National Laboratories to develop portable neutron imaging systems for a variety of applications in non-proliferation and arms control. Current state-of-the-art kinematic neutron imaging systems consist of distributed scintillator volumes in which the position, time, and energy of multiple interactions are used to reconstruct a neutron’s incoming direction. Such systems suffer from poor geometrical efficiency and are ultimately limited in performance by the size…

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How to Deliver the Goods Through Application of Quality Assurance Principles

October 30, 2019 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
3105 Etcheverry Hall, 3105 Etcheverry Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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Abstract: This colloquium will discuss why it is important to embrace quality assurance principles for research programs in order to create a competitive advantage, enhance the research reputation, and gain customer confidence: "delivering the goods". Bio: Mr. Daren Jensen is the owner of Optimum Performance Solutions consulting and has over thirty-three years of experience in managing and implementing complex nuclear quality assurance programs and providing consulting services. He is the former QA Manager for the Nuclear Energy University Programs (NEUP)…

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November 2019

Tritium Behavior in Materials Related to Nuclear Fusion Engineering

November 1, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
179 Stanley Hall, 179 Stanley Hall
Berkeley, CA United States
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Abstract: To design a fusion reactor with tritium self-sufficiency, and for safe operation of molten salt reactors, it is essential to understand tritium chemical and mass transport behavior in the coolant and the solid structural materials. In order to operate a fusion reactor continuously, tritium must be produced in the blanket of the fusion reactor, since tritium is scarce in nature.  Tritium breeding materials include lithium and beryllium. The breeding, separation and recovery of tritium in fusion reactors is important…

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The Future of China’s Nuclear Power Program

November 4, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Abstract: China today, after three decades of forced development and deployments, is poised to become the world’s leading nuclear power country during the first half of this century. If China succeeds, it will surpass all advanced nuclear power countries that failed so far to effect a transition from light-water reactors to fast reactors with a closed fuel cycle; in recent years China launched initial industrial-scale projects toward the achievement of this goal. But during the 2020s and beyond the environment…

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Investigating Uranium(VI) Sorption and Mobility in Future Nuclear Waste Repositories

November 18, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
3105 Etcheverry Hall, 3105 Etcheverry Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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Abstract: Most nuclear waste repository options include an engineered barrier system surrounding waste containers in order to minimize the release of radioactive contaminants into the environment after waste package failure and waste form degradation. The proposed buffer material in these barrier systems is compacted bentonite, a natural, geologic material largely consisting of montmorillonite clay. Uranium (U) is the primary element in spent nuclear fuel, and a relevant, environmental contaminant of water resources. Uranium sorption onto clay and its slow diffusive…

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Plutonium and Uranium from Weapons Testing

November 25, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
3111 Etcheverry Hall

Abstract: It’s not immediately intuitive to think of an explosion as a reducing environment. After all, a conventional explosion is an oxidative process. In the case of a nuclear explosion; however, it has been known since 1975 that large amounts of iron in the surrounding environment can be reduced to its ferrous form.1 An explanation for this is not readily available based on mass balances and equilibrium redox conditions. There has been speculation as to the nature of actinide oxidation…

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December 2019

The State of the Nuclear Industry, Dr. Kurt Edsinger, Director of Materials & Advanced Nuclear at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

December 9, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
3105 Etcheverry Hall, 3105 Etcheverry Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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Abstract: In many ways, nuclear power has never been more needed than right now, but the challenges that nuclear power is experiencing in many parts of the world are substantial and largely tied to economics.  In the U.S., plants are shutting down before the end of their licensed lifetime. There are several factors at play, but their sustainability and longevity are largely reflective of their inability to compete in their marketplace.  Outside of the U.S., plants are experiencing similar pressures…

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