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February 2020

Application of Advanced Modeling and Simulation Tools to KP-FHR Licensing

February 24 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
3105 Etcheverry Hall, 3105 Etcheverry Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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Abstract: Advanced modeling and simulation tools have been under development at national laboratories, universities and research institutes around the world.  These tools have progressed to a point where a new reactor type can benefit from them and shed the baggage of legacy tools.  The challenges are taking these tools that have been the primary focus of research and elevating them to a pedigree to license with a regulator.  These challenges vary by the tool but can be summarized in three…

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March 2020

Using Data Competitions to Crowdsource Innovative Solutions to Urban Radiation Detection Problems

March 2 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
3105 Etcheverry Hall, 3105 Etcheverry Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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Abstract: In 2017 and 2018, NA-22 sponsored a project to host data competitions to solicit innovative solutions for urban radiation detection problems. A team from Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Berkeley National Laboratories fielded and hosted two competitions. The first was restricted to those with a government affiliation, while the second was hosted on Topcoder and was open to an international field of competitors. The competitors were asked to detect, identify and locate 6 different radioactive sources from simulated data…

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Nuclear Engineering to Make a Difference

March 9 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
3105 Etcheverry Hall, 3105 Etcheverry Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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Abstract: We all (I hope) want to use our careers to make a difference. This talk will walk through one example of how that might look and lead into a broader discussion of how one could use a highly technical nuclear engineering education to have an impact. I’ll talk a bit about computational neutronics, nuclear innovation, and government in particular. I’ll also talk about what students can think about and do as they frame their own path to fulfill their…

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Smart use of ionizing radiation in biomedical imaging

March 30 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Abstract: Biomedical imaging modalities that rely on x-ray and gamma-ray interactions in biological objects and radiation detectors present potential risk of radiation-related complications. In many cases, imaging using ionizing radiation is essential to detect and monitor human diseases; however there is no established consensus about how to maximize the use of ionizing radiation. Smart use of ionizing radiation in biomedical imaging is enabled by advancing hardware and software solutions, extracting the most out of acquired images, and re-using/re-purposing already acquired…

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April 2020

Kairos Power: From University Conception to Mission-Driven Start-Up

April 6 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Abstract: Fluoride-salt cooled, high-temperature reactors (FHRs) combine existing technologies in a novel way, using high-temperature fuels from gas-cooled reactors with a low-pressure molten salt coolant.  In the last decade, U.S. national laboratories and universities have addressed key scientific and technical questions for the licensing and deployment of FHRs, and have developed pre-conceptual FHR designs with different fuel geometries, core configurations, heat transport system configurations, power cycles, and power levels.  Founded in 2016, Kairos Power, a mission-driven engineering company based in…

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What sounds scary vs what actually matters: risk perspectives for nuclear waste and contamination (and possibly coronavirus)

April 13 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Abstract: Environmental concerns – mainly associated with nuclear waste and nuclear accidents – have been one of the biggest bottlenecks for nuclear energy. At the same time, the society has been struggling to assess these risks relative to other hazardous waste, other pollution and climate change. In the US, there are more than a hundred sites used for nuclear weapon production, most of which still have significant radiological contamination in soil and groundwater. With more than thirty years of characterization and remediation activities,…

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Nuclear Data from Baghdad to Berkeley – Playing with the BAND

April 14 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Abstract: Atomic nuclei are the highest energy density, practically-accessible systems at humanity’s disposal.  This unparalleled energy density allows for the development of unique technological tools to address the health, energy and national/international security challenges of the 21st century provided that we have a good knowledge of nuclear reaction and decay data they require. However, the complex nature of the nuclear many-body problem makes it impossible for us to predict nuclear data accurately enough to optimize the design of these nuclear…

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A Study of Nu-bar: Neutral Particles Emitted from Fission

April 16 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Abstract: In the 1950’s Cowan and Reines first detected the antineutrino by using a cadmium-doped liquid scintillator detector to measure the prompt positron and delayed neutron signature. Following this discovery, nuclear physicists used the same experimental technique to expand their understanding of neutron emission from inelastic neutron interactions on actinides. This seminar will focus on the interplay between experimental techniques used for antineutrino detection and fission neutron studies by highlighting experiments conducted at LLNL. Despite the different objectives of these…

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Nuclear Science for National Security Applications

April 20 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Abstract: While the probability of nuclear exchange may be low, the consequences are undeniably grave. My research focuses on methods to improve nuclear security and nonproliferation while advancing technically-sound policies. Via a series of vignettes, I discuss the three main themes of my research—policy-relevant inquiry, data analytics, and applied nuclear physics. First, the planned deployment of new types of nuclear warheads raises questions concerning whether these capabilities alter the threshold for nuclear use—questions that lack the observational data needed to…

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Closing the Gap; from Fundamental Nuclear Physics to Applications with Next-Generation Ion Traps

April 23 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am

Abstract: Ion traps have long been recognized as superb precision tools for fundamental physics research (Nobel Prize, 1989). In contemporary nuclear physics, they are widely employed to prepare, control and study short-lived radionuclides with high precision and accuracy. Recently, electrostatic ion beam traps have gained in importance by their use as Multi-Reflection Time-of-Fight (MR-ToF) mass separators. In these instruments, ions bounce back and forth between two electrostatic mirrors. Thus, a flight path of a few kilometers is folded into a…

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