NSSC Fellow Daniel Hellfeld wins Best Poster at INMM 2015

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Nuclear Science and Security Consortium Fellow and incoming Fall 2015 graduate student, Daniel Hellfeld, won the JD Williams Best Poster Award at this year’s Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Annual Meeting. He recently completed an M.S. in Nuclear Engineering at Texas A&M University. Daniel’s research is on the feasibility of determining the direction of nuclear reactor antineutrinos via elastic electron scattering in large Gd-doped water Cherenkov detectors. These types of detectors are currently being investigated for their potential use in far-field (10-100 km) remote monitoring of nuclear reactors. If directionality is possible, these detectors could discriminate between multiple reactors and potentially be used to search for clandestine reactors. The work is being done in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium at the University of California, Berkeley.


Global Security Technical Webinar Series

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Sasha Asghari, NSSC Graduate Student Affiliate, will deliver a seminar as part of the Union of Concerned Scientist’s Global Security Technical Webinar Series.

Thursday, June 11     Noon Boston time (16:00 UTC)     

Corresponding times around the world:  http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html



SASHA ASGHARI    –  Nuclear Engineering, Univ. of California-Berkeley


“Looking Forward:  A Framework for Robust IAEA Neutron Detection Capabilities”


Due to its favorable neutron detection characteristics and historically low price, the international safeguards regime has come to heavily rely on helium-3-based neutron detectors to aid in the verification of compliance with the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).  However, the recent helium-3 shortage has the potential to create instability in international safeguards.  This work focuses on possible short-, medium-, and long-term options to decouple the efficacy of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards from uncertainty in the helium-3 market.  By exploring the establishment of a framework for incorporating alternate neutron detectors in the long run, the IAEA can help maintain the efficacy of international safeguards and the nonproliferation regime.



Alexandra (Sasha) Asghari is currently a graduate student at UC Berkeley pursuing a PhD in Nuclear Engineering with an emphasis on radiation detection and nuclear nonproliferation policy.  She graduated with a BS in Physics from California State University-Sacramento in 2012.  Currently, she is working with Adam Bernstein and Steven Dazeley at LLNL on a novel Gadolinium-doped water Cherenkov neutron detector as a possible alternative to some helium-3 detectors.  Sasha is particularly interested in the nexus of science (radiation detection) and policy (nonproliferation of nuclear weapons).


GST is a monthly series of technical webinars on global security issues. To join the webinar you can use the web link given below; no special software is needed. You will get audio and video over the web, and will be able to interact with the speaker and other participants during the webinar.


Instructions for joining the webinar are in the attachment.


Recordings of past webinars in this series are available at:



If you are interested in giving a future presentation, please contact George Lewis at gnl3@cornell.edu


Network Science Idea Challenge

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Detection of Nuclear Proliferation
Network Science Idea Challenge
Prize: $2,000
Deadline: July 15, 2015
(Winners will be announced on August 15, 2015)
Sponsored by the United States Department of Energy
 Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation R&D
Nuclear nonproliferation encompasses many networks: power-generation reactors to mining, transport, conversion, enrichment, and storage networks. Financial, industrial, communications, sensor, knowledge, and accountancy networks all tie in. So do political, social, and professional networks. Multiple networks with multiple interdependencies. The idea challenge is to formulate a problem in nonproliferation, proliferation detection, or treaty monitoring and verification that could (possibly) be solved with a network science approach. The problem should be one that would be otherwise difficult to approach.
Submit a 3-5 page white paper describing your idea and submit it in PDF format to James Kornell (korneljm@nv.doe.gov) by the deadline.
For more information, see the attached guidelines.
  • Undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs at UCSB, the Middlebury (Monterey) Institute of International Studies, and NSSC academic institutions (UCB, UCD, UCI, UNLV, MSU, WUSTL) are eligible to apply.
  • No citizenship restriction
  • Teamwork is encouraged; submit only one white paper per team

Click here to view details

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