Results 1 - 8 of 8
Results 1 - 8 of 8. Search took: 0.014 seconds
|Sort by: date | relevance|
[en] Recently a member of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Consequence Management Response Team took part in outreaches and an exercise in different foreign countries. In Brazil and South Korea, the outreaches revolved around a nuclear power plant exercise. In Canada, participation was limited to a table top Consequence Management exercise. This talk will briefly discuss each event and resulting pertinent observations. In each case, it became evident that governments respond to disasters very differently, and that these differences are not only culturally based, but also influenced by each government's respective experience in dealing with natural disasters
[en] With the potential shortage of He-3 being reported by vendors, it is important to consider other materials for neutron detection. Traditional neutron detectors are composed of BF-3 and He-3. Recently Li-6 Glass and borated PVT have been presented as possible replacements. This work will compare the relative detection efficiencies and consider other factors to determine the most appropriate neutron detection material.
[en] The Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center (FRMAC) is the United States response organization for radiological emergencies. The FRMAC is structured as an operations center and employs the combined resources of several federal agencies to respond to any disaster resulting in the release of radioactivity. The mission of the FRMAC is to support state and local authorities in the gathering of environmental data using an array of survey equipment ranging from alpha probes, beta/gamma probes, and high-purity germanium (HPGe) spectroscopy to the gathering of physical samples. Once collected, the data are projected on maps to assist public officials make protective action decisions. In addition to the accumulation of data, it is the legal obligation of the FRMAC to keep archival records of all data points and their actions. During an event, it is conceivable that hundreds to thousands of sample points will be recorded over a relatively short time. It is in the interest of the federal government and public that the information collected be put to the best use as fast as possible. Toward this end, the Remote Sensing Laboratory, working under the direction of the United States Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, is investigating the use of several technologies that will accelerate data flow from field teams to the FRMAC and, finally, distribution of data to decision makers and the public. Not only can finished data products be viewed through the internet, but the actual collection of data via 'real-time' telemetry can be viewed using this same method. Data from the field will be transferred directly to the FRMAC using the MCPD (multi-path communication device). This base station receives the survey information from the field teams via Bluetooth and instantly investigates the best communication pathway to transfer data to the FRMAC. Possible paths include standalone radio, commercial cellular networks (GPRS and CDMA) and satellite. Once inside the FRMAC, this information is transferred to the pertinent divisions for review, data storage, and eventual display on map products. The internet is also a powerful communications tool being utilized by the FRMAC. Using a secure internet connection, field team location and data collection can be viewed live-time by any computer attached to the internet. Similarly, survey information from our fixed-wing aircraft can be viewed while the mission is being flown. All accumulated data and maps generated in the FRMAC are disseminated on a web page through the secure FRMAC web site. Several new data communication processes are being investigated to aid the FRMAC. Each of these provides an important tool to efficiently collect, record and disseminate environmental measurements to FRMAC scientists and decision makers. The ultimate goal of these processes is to improve the flow of protection decisions and information to the public
[en] Design and testing of the United States Navy's next generation air particle detector (NGAPD) is presently underway. The NGAPD is intended for use in nuclear applications for the United States Navy and is being designed to detect airborne Co-60 with a reduction in false alarms and improved ease of use. Features being developed include gamma compensation, low maintenance, commercial off-the-shelf electronics, and spectrum simulation for quality assurance and functional testing applications. By supplying a spectrum simulator, the radon stripping algorithm can be running when a simulated anthropogenic source spectrum (e.g., from Co-60 or transuranics) is superimposed on the radon progeny spectrum. This will allow alarm levels to be tested when the air flow is running and the radon stripping algorithm is providing the instrument response output. Modern units evaluate source spectra with the air flow off and the radon spectrum absent thereby not testing the true system performance which comes out of the radon stripping algorithm. Testing results of the preliminary prototype show promise along with computer simulations of source spectra. Primary testing results taken to date include gamma compensation, thermal insults, vibration and spectrum simulation
[en] Radiation Portal Monitors (RPMs) are our primary border defense against nuclear smuggling, but are they still the best way to spend limited funds? The purpose of this research is to strategically compare RPM defense at the border with state-side mobile detectors. Limiting the problem to a comparison of two technologies, a decision-maker can prioritize how to best allocate resources, by reinforcing the border with stationary overt RPMs, or by investing in Mobile Radiation Detection Systems (MRDs) which are harder for an adversary to detect but may have other weaknesses. An abstract, symmetric network was studied to understand the impact of initial conditions on a network. An asymmetric network, loosely modeled on a state transportation system, is then examined for the technology that will maximally suppress the adversary's success rate. We conclude that MRDs, which have the advantage of discrete operation, outperform RPMs deployed to a border. We also conclude that MRDs maintain this strategic advantage if they operate with one-tenth the relative efficiency of their stationary counter-parts or better.
[en] Over 95% of imports entering the United States from outside North America arrive by sea at 329 ports of entry. These imports are packaged in more than 11 million cargo containers. Radiation portals monitors routinely scan cargo containers leaving port on specially-designed trucks. To accelerate the process, some commercial entities have placed detection systems on the spreader-bar cranes (SBCs) used to offload. Little is known about the radiation background profiles of systems operating on these cranes. To better understand the operational characteristics of these radiation detection systems; a research team from Texas A and M University (TAMU) mounted three thallium-doped sodium iodide [NaI(Tl)] detectors on an SBC at the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office's (DNDO) test track facility at the Port of Tacoma (PoT). These detectors were used to monitor background radiation levels and continuously recorded data during crane operations using a custom-built software package. Count rates and spectral data were recorded for various crane heights over both land and water. The results of this research created a background profile in which count rate was heavily dependent on position demonstrating how detector readings changed in the operational environment
[en] The Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI) has established a Nuclear Nonproliferation specialization for the Master of Science degree within the Nuclear Engineering Department at Texas A and M University (TAMU). Since 2004, twenty-eight students have received MS degrees in this area and over 200 (technical and policy) students have taken classes offered by NSSPI at TAMU. The model for educating safeguards and security experts is being changed at TAMU. Beyond conventional classroom lectures, NSSPI has developed alternative educational models based on practical experience, asynchronous learning portals, and virtual courses in both nuclear safeguards and nuclear security. Due to the experimental and practical past experiences of NSSPI staff and faculty, a heavy hands-on component has been implemented for TAMU nuclear engineering graduate students: hands-on education at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, visiting nuclear installations in other countries to discuss applied safeguards, and summer internships at several national laboratories. In an effort to disseminate basic nuclear education for professionals and students around the globe, NSSPI has developed a publically-available online resource that offers self-paced, independent course modules in basic safeguards and security education: the Nuclear Safeguards Education Portal. Another venture utilized by NSSPI is using a virtual TAMU campus to hold classes for students at a distance. NSSPI is building upon a successful academic program by embracing new educational means. This paper describes the current efforts NSSPI and TAMU have undertaken in strengthening the nuclear nonproliferation, safeguards and security human resource capacity domestically and internationally and the lessons learned from these efforts. (author)
[en] The threat of nuclear and radiological terrorism makes nuclear security a continuing and growing challenge. This subject has been the focus of four international summits since 2010. To meet this need, it is imperative to prepare the next generation of professionals with nuclear security skills, ranging from awareness to expertise. Nuclear security is a complex, many-faceted issue that blends both policy and technology. Nuclear security policy influences the development and deployment of technology, while technical capabilities enable the scope and breadth of policy decisions. Individuals who simultaneously understand both technological and policy elements will be essential to preparing the next generation, a key part of capacity building to sustain national nuclear security regimes. Historically, professionals in this field have emerged from two divergent backgrounds. Well-established academic programs produced graduates who were strong in policy aspects of nuclear security, but who typically did not have a technical background. Alternatively, universities with engineering programs, especially in nuclear engineering, were feeding the pipeline with nuclear security professionals who had technical knowledge. However, no single program incorporated both the policy and technology elements. In 2006, Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station attempted to fill this void through establishing the Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI), a multi-disciplinary organization. NSSPI (http://nsspi.tamu.edu/) combines the talent of internationally recognized researchers from the country’s largest nuclear engineering department with renowned policy expertise from the Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service to focus on the complex challenges of nuclear security and create the next generation of nuclear security leaders. NSSPI created new graduate degree programs with specialization in nuclear security and safeguards. Courses in nuclear security and nuclear nonproliferation topics are part of the degree curriculum. Faculty in the Department of Nuclear Engineering teach courses on the technical side, which include materials detection, nuclear fuel cycles, materials safeguards, and nuclear security system design, (http://nsspi.tamu.edu/topical-subsections/education/degree-programs). Bush School faculty teach courses on deterrence and coercion, international security, nuclear terrorism threat assessment and analysis, and the role of intelligence in security affairs. All these courses provide graduates with a unique background and perspective. Likewise, research topics (http://nsspi.tamu.edu/topical-subsections/research) in NSSPI reflect a similar breadth. Recent research topics include state-level nuclear security measures, terrorism pathway analysis and assessments, and a proliferation resistance analysis and evaluation tool for observed risk (PRAETOR). In addition, students have the opportunity to see the application of technologies through visits to national laboratories that are developing and deploying equipment for international nuclear security missions. With this preparation, graduates of this program are actively recruited and go on to positions in government, industry and international organizations, especially the IAEA. Beyond academic and research activities, NSSPI also reaches out and offers their expertise and experience in this technology/policy focus to countries utilizing nuclear technology or embarking on nuclear energy programs. Curriculum development workshops and conferences on nuclear security have been held with countries in Africa, Asia, and South America. These have been very well received. In addition, to disseminate information on nuclear security, NSSPI teams with a sister institute at TAMU, the Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) that focuses on human resource development for the nuclear industry. NPI (http://www.nuclearpowerinstitute.org) is a unique partnership of industry, universities, two-year community and technical colleges, high schools and junior highs, students, teachers, communities, government agencies, civic and elected leaders, and key stakeholders to prepare the technical workforce for nuclear power and elevate the awareness of the role and benefits of nuclear energy for the economy and society. NPI has a wide range of programs to achieve these goals. In addition, NPI works closely with the IAEA to offer programs to countries with active nuclear energy programs as well as nuclear “newcomer” countries considering the use of nuclear power for the first time. These are done through IAEA programs with individual countries. Through these and other endeavors, NPI has interacted with more than forty countries around the world. Nuclear security is a key consideration for countries embarking on a nuclear power program. It is one of the 19 areas in the “Milestones” document from the IAEA. Recognizing this need, NPI teams with NSSPI to incorporate nuclear security into its international training programs. This is accomplished through lectures and tabletop exercises that allow the participants to be “players” in international nuclear security scenarios and security challenges. The result is to produce a new generation of professionals from countries around the world with a knowledge and appreciation of nuclear security. Through these programs, NSSPI and NPI collectively meet agency goals to assist Member States in enhancing skills and knowledge of nuclear security professionals, promoting a strong nuclear security culture and establishing effective and sustainable national security regimes. (author)