Apr
5
2:00 PM14:00

The U.S. Nuclear Weapon Production Complex: From the Collapse of the Soviet Union to Today

Stephen J. Guidice

Independent Consultant

This talk will focus on the issues facing the Department of Energy (DOE)/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) production complex to accomplish its modernization objectives. Currently, there are production functions performed at four plant sites and two national laboratories. The term production is used broadly to include all DOE/NNSA operations on nuclear weapons, such as production, retrofit, maintenance, repair or dismantlement and it includes the surveillance program in which weapons are disassembled and their components laboratory or flight tested to assess their safety, security and reliability.

This talk will cover the actions taken in the 1990s that set the stage for current issues surrounding the modernization of US nuclear weapons. By the end of 1992, the US halted underground nuclear weapon testing, canceled the development and production of all new nuclear weapons, decided to dismantle about half its stockpile and reconfigure the DOE/NNSA laboratory and production complex. This talk will also touch on the US efforts to help Russia manage its nuclear arsenal and fissile materials in the immediate aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991.

From 1977 to 1997, Mr. Guidice held nuclear weapon program management positions within DOE/NNSA. From 1998 to the present, Mr. Guidice has been an independent consultant to DOE, the Department of Defense, and other government and public policy organizations.

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May
8
12:00 PM12:00

Obama’s "Prague Agenda": Success and Frustration

  • MIT Room E40-496 (Pye Room, Security Studies Program) (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Steve Fetter

University of Maryland

Joint seminar with the MIT Security Studies Program. Please note seminar location, in the SSP area (Building E40).


Steve Fetter worked in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy during the first three and last two years of the Obama administration. In the first period he participated in the internal discussions that defined the administration’s nuclear policy; in the latter period he took part in the final push to make progress on what became known as “the Prague agenda.” He will review the key successes and failures in President Obama’s attempt to revise U.S. nuclear weapon policy and lessons that can be learned for a future administration that seeks to reduce nuclear risks.

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Mar
15
2:00 PM14:00

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Modernization

Roy Schwitters

The University of Texas at Austin

Joint seminar with the MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Science (LNS). Please note seminar location in LNS (Building 26).

The US last detonated a nuclear weapon in 1992 in an underground test in Nevada. By 1994, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) launched its science-based stockpile stewardship program (SSP) designed specifically to ensure the safety, security, and effectiveness of US nuclear weapons without underground nuclear testing. Today, one quarter century later, the scientists and engineers at NNSA’s national laboratories and associated facilities, have succeeded at this task by a thorough modernization of tools, methods, and ideas about stewarding nuclear weapons. Key enablers were development and employment of specific new experimental capabilities, creation of modern, 3D weapon simulation codes, and investment and acquisition in high-end supercomputers, which in turn led to more detailed understanding of relevant physical processes, and enabled extraction of the high value of the US underground test archive. All of this was knitted together by rigorous application of processes to quantify performance margins and uncertainties.

Looking ahead to the next generation of SSP, issues of responsiveness, agility, and efficiency of the nuclear weapons enterprise led the departments of Defense and Energy to seek a stockpile with fewer weapon types, while maintaining current capabilities. The “3+2” strategy envisaged three sets of “interoperable” nuclear components serving both Air Force ICBMs and Navy SLBMs, and two air-delivered weapons. The 2018 Nuclear Posture Review added a different mix of weapons to the near future stockpile and NNSA’s FY2019 plans detail only the first round of interoperable systems.

However, nuclear threats worldwide are quite different today compared to 1992-94, with more players and, potentially, greater threats. What is known is our SSP approach to stockpile stewardship---without nuclear testing---works. To be sure, there will be future technical challenges and opportunities to be faced: high performance computing may experience limits to growth, while new experimental approaches may be coming into focus to address key performance questions definitively in non-explosive nuclear experiments. Continuous improvement---modernization---of SSP will remain crucial to US deterrence in paving the way to deeper understanding and, perhaps someday, control of these threats to humanity.

Technical issues related to these points will be addressed in the talk.

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Jan
29
2:00 PM14:00

GNU/Linux and Unix crash course tutorial, two parts

Come join us for two 1-2hr long tutorial sessions 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: 14:00-16:00, September 29rd and 31st, 2019

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:
    1. $ wget https://www.dropbox.com/s/s3wskq5n08fi7sr/Linux_tutorial.tar
    2. this will download a tar ball with the course material
  3. Next, untar the tarball:
    1. $ tar xvf Linux_tutorial.tar
  4. $ cd Linux_tutorial
  5. You are ready to start.
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Jan
25
2:00 PM14:00

Atomic structure as a signature for nuclear forensics and archaeology

Cameron Tracy

Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow
Harvard Kennedy School

Nuclear forensics and nuclear archaeology involve the analysis of signatures that provide insight into past proliferation-relevant activities. For example, rare earth impurity concentrations in uranium ores can reveal the specific mines from which they were extracted, while radionuclide concentrations in graphite moderator components can constrain past plutonium production. Conventional approaches to nuclear forensics and archaeology rely primarily on compositional signatures, both elemental and isotopic. This talk will focus on new signatures related to atomic structure, or the spatial arrangement of atoms in a material. First, recent work has shown that the penetration of oxygen into UO2 surfaces can serve as a signature of atmospheric exposure during illicit trafficking. Characterization of surface oxidation using crystallographic probes can constrain the time, temperature, and humidity conditions of exposure. Second, preliminary experiments have demonstrated the potential of x-ray and neutron total scattering measurements, coupled with pair distribution function (PDF) analysis, to directly quantify defect concentrations in nuclear materials. Because radiation exposure tends to produce such defects, their presence serves as a signature of the proximity of materials to radiation sources. PDFs contain information about the positions of all atoms in a sampled volume, such that this approach allows for direct quantification of the immediate result of radiation exposure.

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Dec
14
2:00 PM14:00

Disorder-based Approaches to Nuclear Verification

Sébastien Philippe

Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow
Harvard Kennedy School

This talk introduces “disorder-based” instruments and methods that enable radically new approaches to the inspection of sensitive nuclear activities, sites, and assets, including the possibility for an inspected party to perform minimally intrusive and trusted measurements on behalf of inspectors located off-site. Such instruments and methods do not require classical tamper-resistant instruments as well as established secure communication channels. Their security relies instead on stochastic processes and physical disorder. These new instruments and methods could be particularly useful in cases where access to sensitive facilities is limited or even impossible at first. In certain cases, they do not even require inspectors to know the location of the assets being inspected. Disorder-based instruments could also address long-standing authentication and certification issues associated with the absence of trusted-third parties responsible to procure the necessary equipment to perform inspections.

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Nov
30
2:00 PM14:00

U.S. Plans for New Nuclear Warheads

Lisbeth Gronlund

Co-Director, Global Security Program
Union of Concerned Scientists

For decades, the United States produced a stream of nuclear warheads, with new types replacing previous types on an ongoing basis. It did not really consider the behavior of aging warheads until it declared a moratorium on nuclear explosive testing in 1992. At that time the United States believed it could not validate new warhead designs without nuclear testing, and that it would therefore have to extend the life of existing warheads. Two warhead types have undergone life extension programs that were straightforward refurbishments. However, the latest plan is to replace—not refurbish—one of the warheads deployed on silo-based missiles. The weapons designers now believe their computer models allow them to validate new designs without explosive testing. I will discuss the rationale for this new warhead and the downsides of deploying it.

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Oct
26
2:00 PM14:00

New Strategies for Reducing Risks from Radionuclide Exposure

Rebecca Abergel

Assistant Professor, Nuclear Engineering
U.C. Berkeley

The threat of a major radiological event presents a danger of not only large-scale external radiation exposure of the population but also internal contamination with radionuclides. Over the past decade, the challenge of limiting human exposure to incorporated radionuclides has given rise to unprecedented interest in developing new therapeutic strategies for radionuclide decorporation. A brief overview of these different approaches will be presented. Development of a new actinide decorporation agent will be summarized, with an accent on the extensive regulatory process guiding such development work. Finally, a perspective on the persisting needs for new decorporation therapeutic options will be given.

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Nov
6
to Nov 9

Geant4 Simulation Toolkit Tutorial

Location: W20-500

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 still open and 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
    • The above two past "requirements" are now recommendations. Instead we will provide you with a Geant4 Virtual Machine. For this option you need to have either VMware or Virtual Box installed on your laptop. See the official homepage for links and further description.
    • Intermediate ability to code in C++
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Jun
29
12:00 PM12:00

The Future of Space

Dr. Laura Grego

Senior Scientist

Union of Concerned Scientists

The year 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty, the basic framework for international space law. In the decades since its ratification, space has evolved from being the domain primarily of two superpowers to supporting a vibrant ecology of critical economic, scientific, and civil activities for more than sixty countries. However, space continues to be important for national security purposes and will not be insulated from conflict on the ground. The Manual on International Law Applicable to the Military Uses of Outer Space (MILAMOS) is an effort to clarify the limitations that law places on the threat or use of force in outer space, while keeping an eye on the rapid development and spread of space technologies. This project brings together a crack team of space, military, and humanitarian legal experts, with the assistance of a corps of technical advisors. As technical team leader, I’m getting a front seat to this fascinating process. I’ll share insights about being a scientist amid lawyers, what some of the interesting technical questions are, as well as discuss whether the current legal regime is sufficient to support the equitable use of space for the benefit of all humankind into the future.

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Jun
20
to Jun 24

Geant4 Simulation Toolkit Workshop

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++
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May
13
2:00 PM14:00

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

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.

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May
11
12:00 PM12:00

History and Future of the Iran Deal

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.

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May
5
3:00 PM15:00

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

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.

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Apr
7
4:00 PM16:00

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

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

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Apr
1
1:30 PM13:30

Decarbonization - Analyzing implication of different technological pathways.

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.

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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.

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Jan
12
4:00 PM16:00

ROOT Tutorial

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

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Oct
19
to 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

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Sep
16
3:30 PM15:30

Monitoring Reactors Near and Far with Antineutrino Detectors Small and Large

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Room 24-121 (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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.

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Sep
3
3:00 PM15:00

GNU/Linux and Unix crash course tutorial

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.
View Event →
May
26
to May 30

Geant4 Simulation Toolkit Workshop

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

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.

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May
7
12:00 PM12:00

Reactor Design: Lessons from the Soviet Experience

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.

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May
1
3:00 PM15:00

Report on the Indian Point License Renewal Public Hearing

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.

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Apr
22
3:00 PM15:00

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

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.

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Mar
26
11:30 AM11:30

LNSP Brown Bag: Neutrino Detection at IceCube

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.

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Mar
12
12:00 PM12:00

LNSP Brown Bag: Discovery of the Higgs Boson

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.

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Mar
5
12:00 PM12:00

Risk and Consequences: Nuclear Weapons in a Volatile World

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

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