Jun
20
Jun 24

Geant4 Simulation Toolkit Workshop

  • MIT, building 56

Location: 56-154, (pictures)

A four-day-long Geant4 workshop will be hosted by LNSP on MIT campus.
The workshop will be offered by SLAC's Geant4 team.

Registration:

You can register here. The registration is limited to the first 50 participants.

Summary:

  • Who should attend: scientists and engineers who perform MC simulations of interactions of particles and radiation with matter, in the fields of
    • High energy physics, medium and low energy nuclear physics
    • Nuclear Security
    • Material Science
    • Nuclear astrophysics
    • Space engineering
    • Medical research, radiation oncology, dosimetry
    • ...or anyone else who likes to nerd out with coding and simulation!
  • Required:
    • The participants should bring their own laptops
    • OS: GNU/Linux, Unix (Mac OS X)
    • Geant4 10.2-patch01 pre-installed
    • Intermediate ability to code in C++
May
13
2:00 pm14:00

A conversation with Steve Fetter about research directions for nuclear arms control verification and nuclear nonproliferation

  • room 24-115

Steve Fetter

Professor in the School of Public Policy and Associate Provost at the University of Maryland

Steve Fetter leads the National Security and International Affairs Division of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House. In 2009-12 he served as assistant director at-large in OSTP; in 2011-12 he directed OSTP's environment and energy division and in that capacity oversaw the U.S. Global Change Research Program, was U.S. representative to the Group on Earth Observations, and served as deputy co-chair of the National Ocean Council. Prior government experience includes serving as special assistant to Ash Carter, when Carter was Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, and two stints as a fellow in the State Department. He has been a member of the Director of National Intelligence's Intelligence Science Board and the Department of Energy's Nuclear Energy Advisory Committee, and a consultant to several U.S. government agencies.

Fetter is on leave from the University of Maryland, where he has been a professor in the School of Public Policy since 1988, serving as dean of the School from 2005 to 2009 and as associate provost of the University since 2012. Fetter is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Physical Society, and has served as president of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs and vice chairman of the Federation of American Scientists. He has been a member of several committees of the National Academy of Sciences, including the Committee on International Security and Arms Control and committees to assess the effects of nuclear earth-penetrating warheads, internationalization of the nuclear fuel cycle, conventional prompt global strike, and geoengineering. He is a recipient of the American Physical Society's Joseph A. Burton Forum Award, the Federation of American Scientists' Hans Bethe “Science in the Public Service” award, and the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service. Fetter received a Ph.D. in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley, and an S.B. in physics from MIT.

May
11
12:00 pm12:00

History and Future of the Iran Deal

  • MIT building E40 room496

Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh
Iranian ambassador to the IAEA until 2013

During the last thirty five years Amb. Soltanieh has been involved in scientific and diplomatic activities, as a nuclear physicist and senior diplomat. He has been involved in issues of WMD non-proliferation and disarmament, international security, including all together 12 years as Ambassador and representative to the IAEA since 1982, three years as Secretary of National Authority for Chemical Weapons Convention, and three years as Chief Negotiator for Biological Weapons Convention in Geneva until 2002. He has followed the issue of Nuclear Weapon Free Zone in the Middle East as well as nuclear safety, nuclear security, and safeguards for the last three decades. He has participated, in the capacity of special envoy, delegate, chief negotiator, and invited speaker, in numerous (over 180) international events on nuclear science & technology as well as WMD disarmament and international security all over the world. He has also taught (and continues to teach) at several universities inside and outside of Iran.

May
5
3:00 pm15:00

Nuclear Terrorism: Are we both running faster and falling farther behind?

  • MIT, room 24-115

Dr. Graham Allison

Director
Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Bio: Graham Allison is a leading analyst of U.S. national security and defense policy with a special interest in nuclear weapons, terrorism, and decision-making. As Assistant Secretary of Defense in the first Clinton Administration, Dr. Allison received the Defense Department's highest civilian award, the Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, for "reshaping relations with Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan to reduce the former Soviet nuclear arsenal." This resulted in the safe return of more than 12,000 tactical nuclear weapons from the former Soviet republics and the complete elimination of more than 4,000 strategic nuclear warheads previously targeted at the United States and left in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Belarus when the Soviet Union disappeared.

Dr. Allison was the organizer of the Commission on America's National Interests (1996 and 2000), a founding member of the Trilateral Commission, a Director of the Council on Foreign Relations, and has been a member of public committees and commissions, among them the Baker-Cutler DOE Task Force on Nonproliferation Programs with Russia, the IAEA’s Commission of Eminent Persons, and the Commission on Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Proliferation, and Terrorism.

Dr. Allison has served as a Director of the Getty Oil Company, Natixis, Loomis Sayles, Hansberger, Taubman Centers, Inc., Joule Unlimited, and Belco Oil and Gas, as well as a member of the Advisory Boards of Chase Bank, Chemical Bank, Hydro-Quebec, and the International Energy Corporation.

Apr
7
4:00 pm16:00

Inside the Iran Deal: The Technical Evolution of a Historic Agreement

  • MIT Room 10-250

R. Scott Kemp

Norman C. Rasmussen Assistant Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering
Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy

This talk will describe the evolution of the technical negotiating strategy behind the Iran nuclear deal, the trade-offs that were made during the negotiations, and calculations on the ultimate ability of Iran to make nuclear weapons given the constraints of the deal. It concludes that while the deal has several loopholes that might allow Iran to get closer to a weapon than negotiators had hoped, the deal nonetheless creates a stable technical barrier against proliferation for the next eleven years; after which point the politics of the region must become the sole source of nonproliferation stability.

Note: This talk is part of the MIT Physics Colloqia

Apr
1
1:30 pm13:30

Decarbonization - Analyzing implication of different technological pathways.

  • MIT Room 24-213

Nestor Sepulveda

Graduate Student
Nuclear Science and Engineering
Technology and Public Policy

This research presents different options for decarbonizing the power sector by 2050 through several case-based studies. Using a capacity expansion model with embedded clustered unit commitment and operational constraints, the thesis aims to study the impact of different technological pathways at the system-cost level (average price of electricity) under stand-alone CO2 reduction targets. Data from the ERCOT (Texas) and ISO-NE (New England) markets will be used to illustrate the effect of different generating options and demand profiles have on the optimal generation mix.

Nestor Sepulveda is a dual degree student (NSE and TPP), a Chilean navel officer, and a fan of The Lego Movie and playing squash.

Mar
4
1:30 pm13:30

Experimental tests of general relativity starting from the Schrödinger equation: the Pound-Rebka experiment

Jayson Vavrek

Doctoral Candidate
Laboratory for Nuclear Security and Policy

The Pound-Rebka experiment (1959) was one of the first precision tests of Einstein's general relativity. General relativity predicts that a photon's energy will be red- or blue-shifted by a gravitational field, but the magnitude of the effect is exceedingly small over typical laboratory distances and under terrestrial gravity. However, these small energy shifts can be detected in high-precision spectroscopy experiments using the Mössbauer effect, as was done by Pound and Rebka at Harvard, providing a link between physics on cosmological and quantum scales.

Starting from the Schrödinger equation, I will show how the finite potential well gives rise to the Breit-Wigner resonance cross section under a first-order Taylor expansion. I will then discuss the Breit-Wigner behaviour of nuclear resonance fluorescence and its special case, the Mössbauer effect. Next, I will show how the Mössbauer effect can be used for high-precision (ΔE/E ~ 10-15) measurements of photon energies. Finally, I will derive the competing photon redshift predictions from both special and general relativity and cover how the observed net redshift was confirmed by Pound and Rebka to closely match the theoretical result.

Jan
12
4:00 pm16:00

ROOT Tutorial

  • MIT Room 24-307

Areg Danagoulian

Prof. Areg Danagoulian will give an overview of the ROOT data analysis framework. ROOT was developed by the high energy physics community, and is an extremely powerful and versatile tool for analysis of massive volumes(terrabytes and pentabytes) of data. The tutorial will consist of two, possibly three meetings:

  1. Jan. 12, 4pm, 24-307. This will be a general intro to ROOT, and will focus on the basics of C++ which are necessary to work in ROOT. The students will fire up their instances of CINT (the C++/clang interpreter), and will type up some simple C++ code.
  2. Jan. 14, 2:30pm, 24-213. This meeting will focus on ROOT itself. We'll load some data from a text file, histogram it, plot it, fit it. We'll also learn how to use ROOT's own data serializer.

Requirements and prerequisites Prerequisite: some basic knowledge of coding

Requirements: a laptop which has an ssh client (e.g. Putty in windows) and X-windows.

Preferable: have ROOT installed (see link below), or be able to run it on athena.dialup.mit.edu (see "homework" below).



Day 1: Jan 12th, 4-5:30pm, 24-307

Links

  1. The (old) MIT ad.
  2. The slides for day 1.
  3. ROOT website: https://root.cern.ch/
  4. Index of the ROOT classes.

Homework

  1. C++
    1. The C++ tutorial. Use ROOT/CINT to practice, and also...
    2. codingground: an online C++ compiler platform.
  2. start playing with root, on athena:
    1. > ssh -X your_kerberos_username@athena.dialup.mit.edu
    2. > cp ~aregjan/file0.dat . < - - - this is for later
    3. > add root
    4. > root
  3. Optional:
    1. Install ROOT locally. Preferably -- build from source. Ubuntu users can apt-get root-system from the repos.
    2. ROOT examples to play with, (very) optional.

Day 2, Jan 14th, 2:30-4pm, 24-213

Overall agenda

  • General exercises in ROOT
    • TH1 class, TH1F class, documentation, examples
    • Create and fill a histogram
    • "Low level" info:
      • GetBinContent(), GetNBins(), other things from the index
      • SetBincontent
    • Plot -- many different ways
    • fit, analyze
    • GUI operations
      • The editor, toolbar, status bar. Overlay graphics/text
    • Macro format output
  • Playing with data!
    • Read in ascii text data into ROOT
    • Save the data to a .root format
    • "Scan"
    • (maybe) GetEntry(), tr->GetBranch("x")->GetLeaf("x")->GetValue()
    • Plot:
      • Scatter plots
      • Plots with conditions/cuts. "Scan" with the same conditions
      • Graphical cuts! CUTG
      • 2D histos
      • Plotting options
      • 2D->1D projections
    • fit, analyze
  • Scripting
    • Macros
    • Script functions
  • PyROOT (time remaining)
    • Access ROOT from Python

Links

  1. Link to the slides for day 2.
  2. Text data file

For more information: Areg Danagoulian, aregjan@mit.edu

Oct
19
Oct 21

Geant4 Advanced Tutorial

Location: W20-201 (Student Center, MIT)

A three-day-long Geant4 advanced workshop will be hosted by LNSP on MIT campus. The workshop will be offered by SLAC's Geant4 team, and will be limited to 30 advanced participants. Participation to the workshop is by invitation only: please fill out this application form.

Summary:

  • Who should attend: scientists and engineers with an strong knowledge of Geant4who perform MC simulations of interactions of particles and radiation with matter, in the fields of
    • High energy physics, medium and low energy nuclear physics
    • Nuclear Security
    • Material Science
    • Nuclear astrophysics
    • Space engineering
    • Medical research, radiation oncology, dosimetry
    • ...or anyone else who likes to nerd out with coding and simulation!
  • Required:
    • The participants should bring their own laptops
    • Solid admin-level knowledge (command line et al.) of GNU/Linux, Unix (Mac OS X)
    • Geant4 10.1.p02 pre-installed
    • Intermediate ability to code in C++

Thinking man

Sep
16
3:30 pm15:30

Monitoring Reactors Near and Far with Antineutrino Detectors Small and Large

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Room 24-121

Speaker: Adam Bernstein, LLNL

Title: Monitoring reactors near and far with antineutrino detectors small and large

Abstract:

Antineutrino physics applied to reactor monitoring has matured significantly as a discipline in the last decade. Notable successes have been achieved, both in simplifying the relevant technology to make it deployable in practical contexts, and in understanding how the information that antineutrinos provide could support regimes such as the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) reactor Safeguards program. Despite these successes, no antineutrino detector has yet been used in an actual deployment for IAEA safeguards or any other nonproliferation purpose. At tens of meters from the core, antineutrino detection can provide a core-wide material accountancy capability, but introducing this capability into the present IAEA reactor safeguards regime would be disruptive for a variety of reasons. In the mid-field, from 10-100 km or so, straightforward adaptions of today's largest liquid scintillator or water detectors are achievable, but utility is likely limited to a few specific cases. The greatest utility may lie in cross-border detection and monitoring of small reactors. This requires very large detectors, and, even more difficult, the ability to reject antineutrinos from the rest of the world's reactors, which at great distances dominate the antineutrino signal from a specific small reactor of interest. A very large, directional, antineutrino detector would appear to be the only way to succeed at cross-border (>100 km) detection. In this talk, I'll survey the state of the science and art of applied antineutrino physics, and discuss recent technical ideas that might allow a directional capability to be realized in a large detector.

Sep
3
3:00 pm15:00

GNU/Linux and Unix crash course tutorial

  • 24-213

Come join us for a 1-2hr long tutorial on Linux operating system. We will try to cover things starting from the rudimentary basics, but will also touch upon more advanced, hackier aspects of linux. For this tutorial we will be working off of Ubuntu 14.04 (LTS), however the material is distro non-specific.

Speaker: Areg Danagoulian, aregjan@mit.edu.

Location: 24-213

Time: 15:00-17:00, September 3rd, 2015

Requirements:

For the tutorial everyone needs to just have a laptop running ubuntu or Darwin (Mac OS X) and know how to open a terminal. The MS Windows users have a few alternatives:

  1. Easiest: install PUTY and just login to your account on athena.dialup.mit.edu
  2. Easy: get ubuntu working inside a (free) virtual box. If you install virtual box (easy), I'll give you an ubuntu image to load. (I'd recommend Mac users to do this as well -- the differences between Darwin and linux can be significant, and I won't have the time to go over both). If you want to keep using your MS windows but be able to run linux locally, this is probably the best solution.
  3. Harder: make your laptop dual boot. I have a USB flash drive with an ubuntu image, I can show you how to do this.

    Instructions for the course

    1. open a terminal (or ssh to athena.dialup.mit.edu)
    2. In your terminal do the following:
    3. $ wget https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/6095182/Linux_tutorial.tar
    4. this will download a tar ball with the course material
    5. Next, untar the tarball:
      1. $ tar xvf Linux_tutorial.tar
    6. $ cd Linux_tutorial
    7. You are ready to start.
May
26
May 30

Geant4 Simulation Toolkit Workshop

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Location: 32-124 (Stata Center)

A four-day-long Geant4 workshop will be hosted by LNSP on MIT campus. The workshop will be offered by SLAC's Geant4 team, and will be limited to 60 participants. For registration and additional information please refer to the links below.

Summary:

  • Who should attend: scientists and engineers who perform MC simulations of interactions of particles and radiation with matter, in the fields of
    • High energy physics, medium and low energy nuclear physics
    • Nuclear Security
    • Material Science
    • Nuclear astrophysics
    • Space engineering
    • Medical research, radiation oncology, dosimetry
    • ...or anyone else who likes to nerd out with coding and simulation!
  • Required:
    • The participants should bring their own laptops
    • OS: GNU/Linux, Unix (Mac OS X)
    • Geant4.10.1.p01 pre-installed
    • Intermediate ability to code in C++
  • For more information see the workshop homepage.

May
7
12:00 pm12:00

Reactor Design: Lessons from the Soviet Experience

  • MIT Room 24-213

Sonja Schmid

Department of Science and Technology in Society
Virginia Tech

The process of choosing reactor designs is messy and arbitrary, despite the fact that retroactively, these choices are often presented as rational: the best, most functional design won out, and the worldwide fleet of light water reactors arguably proves this point. And yet, in recent discussions of future nuclear power generation, designers have claimed unprecedented levels of safety, efficiency, and even elegance for novel types of reactors. In such debates, the idea of radical, revolutionary innovation clashes with the idea that only standardization can ensure the reliability of operation (and ultimately the possibility of effective emergency response) that the nuclear industry is seeking to implement after the Fukushima disaster.

This talk will provide a fresh perspective on these contemporary debates by presenting historical evidence from another era: when Soviet planners in the 1950s and 1960s tried to come up with a coherent energy policy for the next decades, they wrestled with similar questions. Was nuclear even a viable contender in the country’s energy portfolio? Which of the ten or so reactor designs proposed by Soviet scientists and engineers should they choose and why? Who would manufacture these complex machines, and at what cost? By explaining the decisions they ultimately arrived at I will show that considering the economic, social, and political implications of what might appear to be “purely technical” matters is worth the effort even today.

Sonja Schmid is a faculty member in the Department of Science and Technology in Society at Virginia Tech (National Capital Region). Originally hailing from the University of Vienna, she earned her PhD from Cornell University and spent time as a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford, and at the James Martin Institute for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey. Her research focuses on the ways national energy policies, technological choices, and nonproliferation concerns shape each other. Earlier this year, MIT Press published her book, "Producing Power," on the development of the civilian nuclear industry in the Soviet Union, which is based on extensive archival research in Russia and on interviews with nuclear experts. In her current NSF-supported project, she investigates the challenges of globalizing nuclear emergency response.

May
1
3:00 pm15:00

Report on the Indian Point License Renewal Public Hearing

  • MIT Room 24-213

Aditi Verma

MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering

Jake Jurewicz

MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering

On April 23, 2015, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards held a public hearing for the renewal of the operating licenses for Indian Point 2 and 3, a pair of Westinghouse pressurized-water reactors located 35 miles from Times Square.

With a population of over 20 million living within the 50 mile emergency-planning zone, the Indian Point reactors have been the most scrutinized and historically contentious reactors licensed in the United States. In January 1976, Robert Pollard, the NRC's project manager for Indian Point 3 resigned, issuing a statement that it would be mere luck if the reactor did not have an accident during its lifetime. During a follow-up investigation, Louis Carter, an administrative-law judge and the chairman of the investigation panel, also resigned, saying the investigation had become "incompatible with any sense of fairness," citing the NRC for inadequate information and public participation. A series of eight safety incidents and small radiation releases have stoked public dissent over the reactor's life. The license renewal, which begun in 2007, has been the longest running in the United States; the renewal for Indian Point 2 being delayed well beyond the 2013 expiration of the original license.

Despite its contentious past, there were no intervenors at the April 23 hearing. NSE graduate students Aditi Verma and Jake Jurewicz will report on what transpired at the meeting, the public attitudes towards nuclear power, risk, and safety that they observed, what the lack of intervenors might mean for future public acceptance of nuclear power during an era where climate concern and demand for non-carbon energy is at a maximum.

Apr
23
10:00 am10:00

The Engineering of Laser Enrichment

  • MIT Room 24-213

Jozef W. Eerkens

Adjunct Research Professor
Nuclear Science and Engineering Institute
University of Missouri, Columbia

Dr. Jozef Eerkens will discuss the technology behind condensation supression (SILEX-type) laser isotope separation.

Apr
22
3:00 pm15:00

ANS Seminar: LNSP's Zero-Knowledge NRF Warhead Verification Program

  • MIT Room 24-115

R. Scott Kemp

Assitant Professor
Nuclear Science and Engineering
MIT

Scott Kemp will give an overview of LNSP's flagship project on nuclear-warhead verification. The project uses Zero-Knowledge protocols to implement Nuclear Resonance Fluoresecene measurements of warheads in what amounts to a physical manifestation of a trap-door one-way function. If successful, the technology could help stabilize previous nuclear-disarmament efforts by eliminating the incentive for re-aramament racing; and should enable further, deep reductions in the Cold War nuclear arsenals that remain on hair-trigger alert in Russia and the United States.

More information about the project is available here.

Mar
26
11:30 am11:30

LNSP Brown Bag: Neutrino Detection at IceCube

  • MIT Room 24-213

Adam Kuang

MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering

NSE graduate student Adam Kuang will present on the IceCube neutrino observatory at the South Pole. LNSP Brown Bag talks are informal presentations on topics of general interest to LNSP members and the public.

Neutrinos are one of the least understood particles in the standard model. This is largely because their interactions are dominated by weak-force interactions. However, this very same property allows them to provide clear information about cosmic events happening light years away. The IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory was built with one of its primary goals being the detection of neutrinos from beyond our solar system. It is a neutrino detector spanning approximately 1 km cube and extending to a depth of about 2.5 km below the surface of the ice. This talk will provide a brief introduction to neutrinos, in particular neutrino oscillations and the weak force interactions; the basic concept of neutrino detection; and an overview of the design and layout of IceCube.

Mar
12
12:00 pm12:00

LNSP Brown Bag: Discovery of the Higgs Boson

  • MIT Room 24-213

Jayson Vavrek

MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering

LNSP graduate student Jayson Vavrek will kick off our first LNSP Brown Bag with a presentation on the discovery of the Higgs boson. LNSP Brown Bag talks are informal presentations of on topics of general interest to LNSP members and the public.

In July 2012, two teams at the Large Hadron Collider jointly announced the discovery of a Higgs boson, a spin-0 particle with a mass of ~126 GeV/c2. This finding was achieved after a decades-long experimental search spurred on by theoretical predictions made in part by Peter Higgs, who shared the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics with his collaborator François Englert. In this talk, the state of high-energy particle physics before the discovery of the Higgs boson is introduced. The Higgs mechanism itself is discussed and its key role in the Standard Model of particle physics is explained at a non-technical level, with mathematical details available for those interested. Experimental searches for the Higgs boson are covered, culminating in the five-sigma discoveries reported by the CMS and ATLAS Collaborations in 2012, and in the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physics. Finally, the implications of the discovery and the future of high-energy particle physics are discussed.

Mar
5
12:00 pm12:00

Risk and Consequences: Nuclear Weapons in a Volatile World

  • MIT Room 1-135

MIT Global Zero presents a roundtable discussion with

R. Scott Kemp

MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering

David Wright

Union of Concerned Scientists

Sean Meyer

Union of Concerned Scientists

A roundtable discussion on topics such as the hair-trigger alert status of many U.S. and Russian nuclear forces, the proliferation of nuclear-weapons technology internationally, and the political climate toward future arms control agreements.

Refreshments will be served. RSVP to weinmann@mit.edu

Feb
24
11:00 am11:00

Workshop on ADAQ tools

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Zach Hartwig

As many of you know, I've been developing a set of software tools ("ADAQ tools") for experimental and simulated data acquisition and analysis. After a major recent development effort, these tools are essentially ready for wide-spread "production level" deployment, and I will begin to shamelessly advertise them at MIT and beyond. These tools (already used by Buck on the DNDO/ARI monochromatic interrogation project ... Thanks for being a great guinea pig, Buck!) will be perfect for the Zero Knowledge project, the 22.09 laboratory course, and almost any other future experiment/simulation project involving particle detectors.

As part of my initial push to make these tools known, I'd like to invite you to attend a demonstration / hands-on session. I'll give you an overview of the tools themselves (how to install them, how they work), give a live demonstration of the tools in action, and then allow you to use them yourselves. I hope to show you the power of these tools compared to other software packages that might be available (there aren't many!). I'd like to host this in the NW14 second floor conference room. Once we have a time slot, I'll work with Rachel to reserve the room.

Jan
14
1:30 pm13:30

IAP Lecture Series: "Nuclear Detection in Nuclear Security"

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The IAP Lecture Series, co-hosted by the Physics Department and Undergraduate Women in Physics.

Areg Danagoulian

The talk will give an overview of the various problems and challenges in Nuclear Security, and will focus on two topic areas: Monochromatic Cargo Interrogation and Zero Knowledge Detection.
The Monochromatic program pursues the use of various nuclear interactions, such as 11B(d,n gamma)12C, to produce monochromatic sources for interrogating cargo containers for the presence of nuclear weapons and nuclear materials. The use of monochromatic sources would significantly reduce the necessary dose and allow for better determination of the cargo’s atomic number.
The Zero Knowledge Verification program uses nuclear resonance fluorescence(NRF) to take measurements of nuclear warheads that would validate their authenticity without disclosing classified information. This technology would enable treaties which strive to significantly reduce the current nuclear weapons arsenals.

Jan
12
10:00 am10:00

LNSP Hackathon

  • MIT

(Very) general agenda:

  • The IPython Logbook system for data documentation
  • Amazon EC2 cloud computing
  • ARI/ZK Geant4 simulations
  • ARI/ZK GitHub server
  • ROOT, Geant4, Git, Linux, C++ (General)

Important Links:

  1. LNSP Computational Resources
  2. Zach's page.
  3. To access EC2: https://lnsp.signin.aws.amazon.com/console
  4. To login to the running main data server:

    ssh -Y -i path_to_private_rsa lnsp@54.85.91.83;

  5. On the server -- cd /data
  6. Our Github server: https://github.mit.edu/LNSP

Dec
3
12:00 pm12:00

3D Radiation Mapping with CZT Gamma-Neutron Imaging Spectrometers

  • MIT Room 24-213

Zhong He

Professor, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences
University of Michigan

Prof. Zhong He will discuss the Polaris γ-ray imaging spectrometer system composed of 3-dimensional position sensitive semiconductor radiation detectors. The original Polaris system is an 18-detector Cadmium Zinc Telluride (also known as CdZnTe or CZT) array system designed by the University of Michigan using analog readout electronics developed by Gamma Medica-Ideas, Inc. and detectors from Redlen Technologies, Inc. Each of the 18 detectors is cubic in shape with dimensions 20 mm × 20 mm × 15 mm. All system design and integration is performed by students and researchers in the Orion group. Data acquisition and analysis software is also written in house.

The original system built in 2010 achieved 1.5% FWHM at 662 keV for all events combined. The second system was built in June 2011 and achieved 1.2% FWHM at 662 keV for all events combined. The second-generation prototype system was built in 2012 in collaboration with H3D, Inc. (an Ann Arbor startup company employing several past Orion members) Brookhaven National Laboratory (developers of the next-generation analog readout electronics), and LocoLabs, LLC (responsible for rapid-prototype design of the integrated system). Due to improvements in the readout electronics, these systems achieve 0.9% FWHM at 662 keV for all events combined.

In addition to excellent energy resolution and room-temperature operation, the Polaris system provides source imaging in real time. Compton imaging is used for higher energy gamma rays in conjunction with a coded aperture for lower energy gamma rays.

This presentation will describe applications of 3D CZT imaging spectrometers for detecting and characterizing special nuclear materials (DOD, DEE, and DHS/DNDO applications), radiation safety in nuclear power plants (commercial), proton cancer therapy (NIH), planetary sciences (NASA), and fundamental physics.

Prof. He is part of the DoE supported Consortium for Verification Technology (CVT), consisting of thirteen leading universities, including Michigan and MIT, and eight national laboratories, which addresses technology and policy issues in treaty-compliance monitoring.

Nov
25
12:00 pm12:00

Technology transfer, control, and the indigenization of the Indian pressurized heavy water reactor

  • MIT Room 24-213

Aditi Verma

MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering

The Indian nuclear program, while building the second reactor of a two-unit pressurized heavy water nuclear plant of Canadian design, found itself excluded from global nuclear supply chains and confronted with the task of completing a half-finished reactor following its nuclear test in 1974. This talk is the story of how Indian scientists, engineers and technicians completed the half-finished reactor, and redesigned and built subsequent ones. Aditi will also explore some implications of the development of nuclear technology in India for the control and industrial development of complex, but dual use systems. This work is based on semi-structured interviews with reactor equipment manufacturing companies and oral histories of current and former scientists, engineers and policy-makers of the Indian nuclear program.

Oct
28
12:15 pm12:15

An Investigation into the Passive Detection of High Explosives for Warhead Confirmation in Future Warhead Dismantlement Treaties

  • MIT Room 24-213

Mareena Robinson-Snowden

MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering

Under the Obama Administration, the U.S. has expressed the desire to further efforts in nuclear arms control, specifically continuing bilateral U.S.-Russia reductions of nuclear weapons. Previous bilateral treaties between the two nations have focused on limiting testing or reducing the number of deployed weapons, however no progress has been made on verifiable dismantlement.

The process of dismantling a nuclear warhead has a number of stages, each with its own challenges. The strength of a bilateral dismantlement agreement rests on the efficiency and accuracy of the verification regime established to measure compliance. The verification techniques must give confidence to the inspecting country that compliance is being observed while ensuring the national secrets of the inspected party are not being revealed.

In this talk, we will examine one aspect of verified dismantlement: warhead confirmation. Based on a simplified open-source warhead model, this work looks at the potential of using high-energy gamma rays produced by thermal neutron capture inside the high explosive as a signature for its presence. Through simulation and experimental investigation of a 252Cf surrogate, we aim to show that a warhead presented at the first stage of dismantlement can be confirmed passively and in a non-sensitive manner.

Oct
23
12:30 pm12:30

A Conversation with Rose Gottemoeller

  • MIT Room 24-213

The Hon. Rose Gottemoeller, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, will join LNSP for a roundtable discussion of current and future challenges for nuclear security, nonproliferation, and verification, with a particular focus on research activities and opportunities in nuclear engineering. Following the LNSP roundtable, she will deliver a public address on Future Prospects for US-Russian Arms Control at 2:00 pm in room 54-100.

Remarks for Under Secretary Rose Gottemoeller

Future Prospects for US-Russian Arms Control

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
October 23, 2014
As Delivered

Thank you for that kind introduction. Thank you for having me here today. It’s always great to visit MIT. I have just come from a fascinating roundtable discussion about the application of new technologies to arms control verification and monitoring.

While we are gathered here today in Cambridge, the world is facing serious challenges: the threats to Ukraine’s sovereignty and Russia’s flagrant disregard for international law, the continuing conflicts in the Middle East, a dangerous Ebola outbreak in West Africa that has now travelled to our shores. It is not surprising that most people are not focused on nuclear weapons or nuclear deterrence. When the Cold War ended, the looming threat of nuclear war seemed to drift away and for the average American, but as you all know, there are still thousands and thousands of nuclear weapons in the world and we have a lot of work to do.

Strategic stability is the cornerstone of American national security, but as all of you know, it is not a static state of being. Threats to strategic stability can surface quickly and it is incumbent upon all of us to recognize those threats, anticipate them when we can, and make moves to counter them. We must be prepared for the unpredictable, and constantly on the look-out so that we see threats emerging while they are still over the horizon.

One threat to strategic stability has made news recently. This past summer, the Department of State delivered the Annual Arms Control Compliance Report to Congress with the determination that the Russian Federation is in violation of its INF Treaty obligations not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile with a range capability of 500 to 5,500 kilometers, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles.

We have been attempting to address this very serious matter with Russia for some time, as the United States is wholly committed to the continued viability of the INF Treaty and we are in complete compliance with it. Nevertheless, we have told our Russian colleagues that we will listen to their concerns about our INF implementation and try to resolve them.

Indeed, we have been working to do so, but the Russians seem to be hearing, but not listening to us. We will continue to work this problem, but they need to listen to our concerns, just as we are listening to theirs. It is important to continue communicating on this serious issue.

This is a very serious issue. This landmark treaty serves the mutual security interests of the parties – not only the United States and Russia, but also the 11 other states bound by its obligations. Moreover, this Treaty contributes to the security of our allies and to regional security in Europe and in the Far East.

There is an expert debate in Russia about its nuclear modernization programs and about the contribution of the INF Treaty to Russia’s security. It is important for Russia to take into account that no military decisions happen in a vacuum. Actions beget actions. Our countries have been down the road of needless, costly and destabilizing arms races. We know where that road leads and we are fortunate that our past leaders had the wisdom and strength to turn us in a new direction. Let us hope that debate in and out of the government leads to a decision to return Russia to compliance with all of its international obligations.

Despite our serious concerns about Russia’s violation of the INF Treaty, we believe that the New START Treaty is in the national security interest of the United States. The New START Treaty enhances our national security and strategic stability with Russia and both the United States and Russia are implementing the Treaty in a businesslike manner.

Current tensions with Russia highlight the importance of the confidence provided by notifications, data exchanges and on-site inspections under the Treaty, and the security and predictability provided by verifiable mutual limits on strategic weapons. The mutual predictability this gives to the U.S.-Russia relationship increases stability, especially during difficult times such as now.

With respect to future agreements, the United States will only pursue agreements that are in our national security interest and that of our allies. We expect Russia will do the same, but in the course of each of us pursuing our national goals, historically we have always come up with agreements that are in our mutual interests to reduce nuclear threats and ensure mutual stability and predictability.

Cooperation in the arms control realm has been an important facet of strategic stability over the past forty years and it should remain so in the future. Moreover, we need nuclear cooperation with Russia and others to address new threats, first and foremost the risk that terrorists could acquire a nuclear weapon or the fissile materials needed to make one.

We will continue to pursue arms control and nonproliferation tools, because they are the best - and quite frankly - the only path that we can take to effectively prevent a terrorist nuclear threat and reduce nuclear dangers more broadly.

In addition to working on the prevention of nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism, the United States has taken steps to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy. We have clearly stated that it is in the U.S. interest, and that of all other nations, that the nearly 70-year record of non-use of nuclear weapons be extended forever.

We are taking time now to prepare the ground for a future that is more conducive to action. That includes more research into how we incorporate new technologies and innovations into verification and monitoring. We can also shape, maintain, and improve strategic stability through a variety of bilateral and multilateral dialogues, including in the Track 1.5 and Track 2 realms. These engagements reduce the potential for misunderstanding and provide the basis for future agreement and cooperation.

Multilateral agreements like a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) can also enhance global stability. The United States will continue to push for the commencement of negotiations on such an agreement.

This year, Canada has been leading a UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on FMCT. It is our hope that the GGE and its final report will finally break this impasse and allow us to proceed with the negotiation of this important treaty.

We have now begun working to expand our public outreach on the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. I have actually just spent the last three days in Utah talking about the Treaty. As stated in the April 2010 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review: “Ratification of the CTBT is central to leading other nuclear weapons states toward a world of diminished reliance on nuclear weapons, reduced nuclear competition, and eventual nuclear disarmament.” Once we’ve brought the Treaty back to people’s attention, we can move on to discussion and debate – just like we did with the New START Treaty.

As we consider arms control and nonproliferation priorities, we will continue to consult closely with our allies and partners every step of the way. Our security and defense – and theirs – is non-negotiable.

Of course, you know all of this - all of what we have been talking about - is moot if we don’t attract the next generation to nuclear policy jobs. That’s why I am glad to see so many people here today. We need political scientists, lawyers, physicists, geologists, engineers, and more to start working with us on this problem, if we want to make sure that this essential part of national security will be supported ably for as long as it needs to be.

With that I will wrap up, as I want to leave some time for questions, but I want to leave you all with a thought.

History has shown us that when faced with obstacles, we always have several paths. When it comes to our current situation with the Russian Federation, I, for one, want to follow the path that President Reagan took, the path that President George H.W. Bush took. When confronted with a difficult and sometimes unpredictable partner in the Soviet Union, they did not take their ball and go home. They did not let strategic stability become a political punching bag. They set about the hard task of building up strategic stability through arms control treaties and agreements, and they succeeded in making this world a safer place. They worked hard, and achieved much.

We should all heed the words of one of our less-quoted Presidents, Calvin Coolidge. "Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence,” he said. “The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

Thank you.

Oct
21
12:15 pm12:15

A Novel Low-Dose Approach to Active Detection of Shielded High-Z Materials

  • MIT Room 24-213

Lt. Col. Buck Oday

MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering

One of the most significant challenges of detecting Special Nuclear Material (SNM), and particularly highly enriched uranium, is the difficulty associated with detecting radiation signatures from shielded material. The two basic approaches to identifying the presence of SNM are passive and active interrogation. Passive interrogation involves reading the signatures―which may include charged or neutral massive particles and massless particles―naturally emanating from materials. Active interrogation involves probing the material―with massive or massless particles―and subsequently looking at the natural and induced signatures radiating from the material. For both passive and active interrogation, low energy charged particles are of no use because of their short range in matter. Likewise, x-Rays and MeV energy gamma rays are of limited utility because they are easily shielded and there is an abundance of low-energy background gammas in the natural environment. Interrogation using several MeV energy gammas may offer a feasible alternative.

Mr. Oday’s research seeks to provide a proof of principle for the use of gamma lines produced from low threshold energy nuclear interactions to conduct transmission radiography to determine the presence or absence of high-Z materials shielded by low- to medium-Z materials. Specifically, he is interrogating various materials using the 4.44 MeV and 15.1 MeV gamma lines produced in the 11B(d,nγ)12C reaction. At 4.44 MeV, Compton scatter dominates in all materials and, with nearly constant electron density in matter, attenuation of this gamma line provides a measure of mass the gammas have passed through. At 15.1 MeV pair production dominates for high Z materials (proportional to Z2) and measurement of attenuation provides insight as to the presence or absence of high-Z materials. During this talk, he will provide an overview of the detection problem, technical challenges, and discuss current and future efforts to interrogate materials of various Z.