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News Archives: 2011

How to kick-start new energy technologies

The world desperately needs innovation in energy technologies — but those innovations are unlikely to happen by themselves. A three-year study by a team of researchers based at MIT has now identified a suite of policy and investment strategies that could accelerate innovation in the United States, helping to meet our growing energy needs affordably and reliably, reducing carbon emissions and alleviating insecurity over energy supplies .... more

NSE Professor Emeritus Parker recognized for outstanding career contributions to fusion development

Professor Emeritus Ron Parker was awarded FPA's Distinguished Career Award at the Fusion Power Associates 32nd Annual Meeting and Symposium in Washington, DC., on Dececember 14–15, 2011.... more

NSE wins award for laboratory safety

NSE has won the “Environmental, Health and Safety Special Recognition Award” by MIT’s Environment, Health and Safety Office. The award, “for excellence in achieving the standards of MIT’s Environment, Health and Safety Management System”, is given annually to a Department, Laboratory, or Center which successfully implements and executes the standards of safety outlined by the EHS office.

Congratulations to Dr. Thomas McKrell, NSE’s EHS coordinator, for leading the Department’s efforts in this area. Dr. McKrell heads a team of EHS representatives in the Department which includes Professor Linn Hobbs, Dr. Gordon Kohse, Dr. Richard Lanza, Dr. Peter Stahle and Dr. Yan Chen.

New NSE strategy strengthens core, opens boundaries; seeks better integration of technical and societal issues

Nuclear technology is inextricably bound up with great issues — energy, international security, climate change, and the environment, to name a few. MIT’s Nuclear Science and Engineering department, as part of a broad re-orientation, has put in place a new strategic plan ... more

IPC Forum on Energy Innovation discusses new ways of developing clean, reliable, affordable US energy supplies

Energy is the lifeblood of the industrialized world, providing light, heat, transport, and thousands of vital benefits. But energy dependence also creates a complex collection of challenges, including carbon emissions that are tightly linked to climate change, oil spills, nuclear accidents, economic pressures, and regional and global political tensions. more

NSE grad students Dewan and Massie speak at TEDx New England

Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie have invented a new type of nuclear reactor, the Waste-Annihilating Molten Salt Reactor, that can help solve the nuclear waste problem. The WAMSR consumes nuclear waste as it turns it into electricity, reducing the mass of the high-level actinide waste by up to 98%. more

NSE team presents winning poster at MITEI Seed Funds Research Conference

An NSE five-member research team was awarded first place for their poster entitled High-Temperature Salts for Solar Thermal Electricity Production and High-Temperature Nuclear Heat Storage more

MIT wins $7.5M DOE grant to develop a new generation of advanced reactors

MIT has been awarded $7.5 million as part of a new initiative by the Department of Energy to support research and development on the next generation of nuclear technologies. more

NSE collaborates in developing nuclear security curriculum for graduate education

MIT has been awarded $2.4 million by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop a program for university-level nuclear security education. more

Researchers Sow-Hsin Chen and Yun Liu SM.

Findings could lead to better hydrogen storage

Hydrogen has long been considered a promising alternative to fossil fuels for powering cars, trucks and even homes. But one major obstacle has been finding lightweight, robust and inexpensive ways of storing the gas, whose atoms are so tiny they can easily escape from many kinds of containers. more

Richard K. Osborn

Richard K. Osborn Memorial Lectureship Endowed

A generous gift from NSE Professor Sidney Yip has endowed the Richard K. Osborn Memorial Lectureship in the Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences Department at the University of Michigan. more

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Learning the lessons of Fukushima

Among the lessons to be learned from the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daichii nuclear powerplant, according to a new report from MIT, are that emergency generators should be better protected from flooding and other extreme natural events, and that increasing the spacing between reactors at the same site would help prevent an incident at one reactor from damaging others nearby. more

Ian Hutchinson speaks with NHPR about Nuclear Power

A New Look at Nuclear Power

Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT, Ian Hutchinson talks with Laura Knoy of New Hampshire Public Radio about the latest news around nuclear power and what it may mean for the future of the energy source. more

Researchers Yang Zhang and Sow-Hsin Chen.

Revealing Water's Secrets

We drink it, swim in it, and our bodies are largely made of it. But as ubiquitous as water is, there is much that science still doesn't understand about this life-sustaining substance.

For example, unlike almost all other compounds, which typically shrink as they get colder, water expands when it freezes — which is why ice floats on water. Yet even the reasons for this unusual fundamental property remain elusive. more

Jacopo Buongiorno wins Landis Engineering Achievement Award from the American Nuclear Society

Jacopo Buongiorno wins Landis Engineering Achievement Award from the American Nuclear Society

Associate Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering Jacopo Buongiorno has been selected by the American Nuclear Society to receive the Landis Young Member Engineering Achievement Award. Buongiorno wins the award for his “pioneering research in multiphase flow and heat transfer in LWRs and the development of related tools and data for reactor design and safety codes.". more

Two NSE alums amongst 27 MIT alumni-astronauts involved in space shuttle program

Two NSE alums amongst 27 MIT alumni-astronauts involved in space shuttle program

Two NSE alums are amongst the total of 27 MIT graduates who have flown on a total of 59 space shuttle missions since the beginning of the program—nearly half of all the missions flown. Indeed, the Institute has produced more NASA astronauts than any other private university. more

A reality check on nuclear fusion at MIT

A reality check on nuclear fusion at MIT

Nuclear fusion suffers from an image of being too good to be true. But researchers here say they are already doing nuclear fusion on a small scale and it's just a matter of time—decades, realistically—before it becomes practical. more

NSE's Sara Ferry interns at AREVA, Paris through MISTI

NSE's Sara Ferry interns at AREVA, Paris through MISTI

When the nuclear disaster unfolded this spring in Japan, Sara Ferry had a better understanding of the situation than most college seniors. Thanks to the MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives (MISTI), she spent last summer working on commissioning tests for a new nuclear reactor in Finland, receiving hands-on experience rare for an undergraduate. more

NSE Professor Felix Parra Diaz wins Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award

NSE Professor Felix Parra wins Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award

Dr. Felix Parra is the winner of the 2011 Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award.  Dr. Parra, who will join the MIT faculty this summer as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, conducted the research for his thesis at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. more

NSE publishes report on lessons learned from Fukushima-Daiichi accident

NSE publishes report on lessons learned from Fukushima-Daiichi accident

This report presents the reflections of members of the MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering faculty on the accident at Fukushima, and is offered as a contribution to the debate on the implications of the accident for the nuclear industry. more

NSE Professor Ron Ballinger investigates major Boston-area water main break

NSE Professor Ron Ballinger investigates major Boston-area water main break

NSE Professor Ronald Ballinger was part of an independent panel of experts convened to investigate a water-pipe failure that occurred in May 2010, cutting off clean drinking water to nearly 2 million residents of the Boston area for more than two days and resulting in a boil-water order for 30 eastern Massachusetts communities. more

Anita Kafka wins Ellen J. Mandigo Award for outstanding service and dedication to MIT

Anita Kafka wins Ellen J. Mandigo Award for outstanding service and dedication to MIT

The Ellen J. Mandigo Award for Outstanding Service was presented at this year's School of Engineering Infinite Mile Awards ceremony to Anita Kafka, assistant to the department head in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering. more

Professor Anne White wins DOE Early Career Research Award

Professor Anne White wins DOE Early Career Research Award

Assistant Professor Anne White has been awarded a grant through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Early Career Research Program. She is one of 65 outstanding young scientists around the country selected for this award, and is one amongst four winners at MIT. more

Dr. Ernie Moniz discusses the Nuclear Option

Dr. Ernie Moniz discusses the Nuclear Option

The earthquake and tsunami that ravaged parts of Japan and severely damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have sparked fears of radiation exposure and a potential meltdown. Here in the United States those realities have renewed the debate over the future of American nuclear power plants -- and have thrust nuclear energy development into the limelight as both America's answer to its growing electricity needs as well as one of its greatest security threats. more

MIT releases report on The Future of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

MIT releases report on The Future of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle

The United States and other countries around the world looking to nuclear power for their energy needs must consider how spent fuel will be handled as they construct new plants and examine existing ones, especially in light of the recent crisis in Japan, according to a comprehensive study from MIT. more

Why Fukushima won't kill nuclear power

Why Fukushima won't kill nuclear power

Op-ed by Richard K. Lester | Wall Street Journal

The accident at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station is still far from resolved. A major public health disaster seems to have been avoided, and the long-term impact on health and safety will be dwarfed by the devastating loss of life caused directly by the huge Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. But the nuclear crisis has badly scared people around the world. more

Dr. Yanch discusses radiation effects from Fukushima

Dr. Yanch discusses radiation effects from Fukushima

The radiation doses and dose-rates experienced by residents of Japan, particularly those in Fukushima prefecture, are examined and the expected impact of these elevated radiation conditions on human health is discussed.  Overall, doses are very low and the impact on health, if any, is expected to be minimal. more

Nuclear Energy in 2050

Nuclear Energy in 2050

A symposium to mark the10th anniversary of the Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Research (CANES)

The two-day symposium, chaired by Center Director Professor Mujid Kazimi, brought together more than 55 leaders from academia, industry, government and the national laboratories to discuss important issues concerned with the development of nuclear power in the upcoming decades. For the 40 students who attended, the symposium provided the perfect opportunity to hear from and interact with experts in the field. more

Explained: rad, rem, sieverts, becquerels

Explained: rad, rem, sieverts, becquerels

A guide to terminology about radiation exposure

Sometimes it must seem as though reports on releases of radioactive materials from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear powerplant in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami are going out of their way to confuse people. Some reports talk about millisieverts while others talk about rem or becquerels, when what most people really want to know is much simpler: Can I drink the milk? more

The nuclear crisis and Japan's government

The nuclear crisis and Japan's government

The response of Japan's government to its multiple unfolding disasters has been better than its past performance in moments of crisis, but the country's political leaders still have a long way to go to manage events well and win public confidence, MIT experts said in a public forum. more

Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering Briefing on the Japan nuclear crisis

Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering Briefing on the Japan nuclear crisis

In response to the confusion, speculation and apprehension surrounding the rapidly unfolding events at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the aftermath of last week's earthquake and tsunami, a panel of MIT nuclear engineering, public health and risk assessment specialists convened on Tuesday to explain how the reactors work, what we know about what has taken place there so far, and how to put the risks to the population in proper perspective. more

Prof. Bilge Yildiz wins prestigious NSF CAREER award

Prof. Bilge Yildiz wins prestigious NSF CAREER award

Bilge Yildiz, the Norman C. Rasmussen Assistant Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering, is among a select group of young scientists awarded the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award in 2011. more

NSE Professor Dennis Whyte awarded MISTI–MITOR Project grant

NSE Professor Dennis Whyte awarded MISTI–MITOR Project grant

Professor Dennis Whyte and NSE graduate student Zach Hartwig have been awarded a MISTI Global Seed grant to expand a collaboration with Professor Massimo Zucchetti of Politecnico di Torino on material activation assessment for magnetic fusion energy devices. more

NSE Professor Dennis Whyte appointed to Inertial Fusion Energy Committee

NSE Professor Dennis Whyte appointed to Inertial Fusion Energy Committee

Professor Dennis Whyte has been appointed to the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Prospects for Inertial Confinement Fusion Energy Systems (the IFE Committee), a project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. more

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