Plenary Talks

Prestigious international keynote speakers will give plenary lectures during the opening session of the conference.

Speaker: Igor Jovanovic

Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences, University of Michigan

Bio: Igor Jovanovic received his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, after which he served as a faculty member at Purdue University and Penn State University. He is currently a Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences and a Professor of Applied Physics at the University of Michigan. His group conducts research in the area of applied nuclear science, including advanced radiation detection and ultrafast optics technology and applications in nuclear security, nonproliferation, and nuclear forensics. He has published over 150 journal publications and holds several patents. He has led many research projects including the major initiatives of the U.S. Departments of Energy, Homeland Security, Defense, and the National Science Foundation. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Nuclear Society and a Fellow of Optica (formerly known as the Optical Society of America).

Recent Advances in Radiation Measurements for Nuclear Security Applications

Abstract: The widespread use of nuclear technologies has the potential to provide many societal benefits, but nuclear security remains a major concern and impediment to their adoption. Some of the persistent challenges associated with nuclear technologies include nuclear proliferation, nuclear arms control, and the threat of nuclear terrorism. Advances in radiation detection methods and technologies represent an important element in the effort to address those challenges. This talk will highlight several recent examples of opportunities to address nuclear security through advances in nuclear analytical methods, including active interrogation, fast neutron, and antineutrino detection.

Speaker: Bruno Coriton

Scientist and Group Leader, Fusion Product Diagnostics ITER Organization

Bio: Dr. Bruno Coriton leads the Plasma & Fusion Products group in the Port-Plugs & Diagnostics division at the ITER Organization (IO). He and his team are dedicated to the success of ITER and to making fusion energy a reality. In collaboration with ITER Domestic Agencies, they coordinate the design and integration of the neutron and gamma-ray diagnostics on ITER. Prior to IO, Dr. Coriton led the diagnostic development program in the Energy branch of General Atomics in San Diego, California. He received his Ph.D. degree in Engineering & Applied Sciences from Yale University.

Designing Diagnostics for ITER: At the Crossroad between a Scientific Facility and a Fusion Power Plant

Abstract: Driven by an accelerating need for global energy decarbonisation, the technological development of fusion energy is poised to enter a new era. ITER is leading the way toward fusion energy production. As the world’s largest tokamak, the device is a major step up in scale and power from present fusion research facilities. ITER will ultimately achieve a tenfold energy gain in the plasma, resulting in 500 MW of fusion power sustained over long pulse durations of up to 500 s. ITER is a research facility; however, because of the significant fusion output, it is also the first tokamak constructed and managed as a nuclear fusion reactor under regulatory oversight. ITER’s scientific and technological research program will validate plasma scenarios and control schemes relevant to future fusion power plants in addition to numerous technologies, including an extensive set of diagnostics.

The diagnostic systems installed on ITER will deliver more than a hundred measurement parameters for physics, control, machine protection, and to ensure ITER compliance with nuclear regulatory requirements. Amongst these parameters are the plasma current and confinement, the electron density profile, radiated powers, impurities, fuelling ratios and neutron flux. The measurements must be highly reliable, in particular for those parameters with control and machine protection roles. As will be presented, this is addressed by having, as much as possible, a minimum of two complementary diagnostics for every measurement parameter.

Many diagnostic techniques on ITER have been successfully demonstrated and perfected on previous tokamaks; however, the implementation of each technique on ITER comes with added challenges due to the harsh nuclear environment. The overall integration of these systems into ITER’s 26 diagnostic ports must also be carefully coordinated in order to ensure safe access to the areas intended for hands-on maintenance and local operations. Near and inside the vacuum vessel, where human access will not be permitted, maintenance and inspection tasks will be performed remotely. For example, calibration of optical and neutron diagnostics will rely on a dedicated remote handling apparatus.

ITER is headed to initial nuclear operations in the early 2030s. Construction is already well in motion, with many diagnostic components installed with the design and manufacture of others strongly advancing. Operations will progressively ramp up from low fusion power D-D reactions before reaching 500 MW of D-T fusion power. Measurement and control of fusion power will be paramount to achieving high fusion performance, as well as machine protection and nuclear safety. For this, neutron diagnostics providing the fusion power measurements are designed to be sensitive to neutron emissions spanning multiple orders of magnitude. Ultimately, ITER will break into burning plasma regimes as yet unexplored in tokamaks where plasma heating is dominated by energetic alpha particles. Characterization of such conditions motivated a comprehensive set of diagnostics that will be outlined in the presentation.

Speaker: Francesco D’Errico

School of Engineering, University of Pisa

Bio: Francesco d’Errico is a tenured Full Professor of Nuclear and Biomedical Engineering, as well as of Medical Physics, at the University of Pisa (Italy). Francesco d’Errico started his academic career in 1996 with a professorship in Radiation Physics at Yale University (USA), where he is still a Fellow at Timothy Dwight College. He has joint/adjunct appointments at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and at the Federal University of Sergipe (Brazil), where he was “Pesquisador Visitante Especial” (Special Visiting Scientist) within the program “Ciências sem Fronteiras”. Francesco d’Errico has performed and led research projects on advanced methods for nuclear safety and security, environmental monitoring, radioecology, biodosimetry, radiation detection/dosimetry/spectrometry supported in the US by NASA, NIH, NSF, NIH, DHS and DOE, and in Italy by Commission of the European Communities, Italian Ministry of University Research (MUR), Italian Nuclear Physics Institute (INFN).

Physics and applications of radiation detectors based on superheated liquids

Abstract: Superheated emulsions are detectors that utilize dispersions of overexpanded halocarbon droplets in tissue equivalent aqueous gels or soft polymers. These detectors have been employed in radiation detection, dosimetry, and spectrometry for more than four decades. While earlier devices detected bubble nucleations acoustically, recent technological advancements have led to the development of devices that utilize optical registration of bubbles. These advances in instrumentation have been accompanied by progress in producing stable and well-defined emulsions of superheated droplets. Various halocarbons can be employed in these detectors, enabling a wide range of applications. Halocarbons with moderate superheat, which means a relatively small difference between their operating temperature and boiling point, can be used in neutron dosimetry and spectrometry, as they are only nucleated by energetic heavy ions produced by fast neutrons. Halocarbons with elevated superheat can be used to create emulsions that nucleate with smaller energy depositions, allowing for the detection of low linear energy transfer radiations such as photons and electrons. This presentation provides an overview of the physics of superheated emulsions and their applications in radiation measurements, particularly in neutron dosimetry and spectrometry.