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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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August 2020

The Transformational Challenge Reactor

August 31 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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,…

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September 2020

Next-Generation Laser Plasma Spectroscopy Technologies for Nuclear Security

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

Vassilia Zorba Group Leader, Laser Technologies Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab & Associate Adjunct Professor, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, UC Berkeley Abstract: Pulsed laser technologies play a critical role in nuclear security, including remote sensing, safeguards and emergency response. My group’s research focuses on the development of next-generation laser technologies with improved sensitivity, precision, and detection range for nuclear non-proliferation applications. This talk will cover recent work on emerging ultrafast technologies based on optical emission. Specifically, I will discuss new…

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Going From Zero to A Billion: How to Build an Advanced Nuclear Power Plant Indy Style

September 21 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Canon Bryan Chief Financial Officer, Terrestrial Energy Abstract: The nuclear energy industry is transforming from being highly concentrated and government- or multinational- funded to nimble, innovative start-ups funded by the cleantech community. This lecture discusses how it is possible to take an advanced reactor design from the idea stage to a multi-billion-dollar concern and still maintain control over your vision for the project. About the Speaker: Canon Bryan is a financial professional with over 25 years of experience in various…

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Machine Learning approach to Nuclear Threat Detection

September 28 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Simon E Labov, Ph. D. Group Leader, Nuclear Security Physics Program Leader, Nuclear Detection Program Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division and Global Security Directorate Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Co-hosted with NSSC Abstract: Conventional approaches to radiation measurements are sometimes insufficient to address the challenges of nuclear threat detection in real-world conditions.  Threat-aware signal processing, statistical methods, machine learning and artificial intelligence are fast becoming an important part of the analysis of large data sets acquired by radiation detectors and supporting…

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