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NSE In the Media

MIT Researchers Study Growth of Branchlike Deposits on Lithium Electrode Surfaces

Researchers from MIT have executed the most in depth analysis on the formation of these deposits. They also report that on the existence of two completely different mechanisms at work. Both forms of deposits are made up of lithium filaments and the manner in which they grow depends on the current applied.

AZoM, September 2, 2016., September 2, 2016.

‘Zero-knowledge’ warhead inspection system

An MIT team of researchers revealed a new technique that nuclear inspectors can use to verify whether a warhead is active, inactive, or a fake—all without learning anything about its design.

Science, July 18, 2016. New Scientist, July 18, 2016. Popular Science, July 19, 2016.

Multi-scale simulations solve a plasma turbulence mystery

Through high-resolution multi-scale simulations NSE’s Anne White and collaborators were able to simultaneously resolve multiple turbulence instabilities that have previously been treated in separate simulations.

DOE, Office of Science, March 8, 2016. NSERC, March 7, 2016

Carbon Nanotubes Improve Metal’s Longevity Under Radiation

NSE’s Ju Li and his team are finding ways to improve aluminum's operating lifetime.

DOE, Office of Science, March 4, 2016

Here’s how to yurn yourself into a smartwatch charger

NSE’s Ju Li and his team have found a way to make your steps charge batteries.

Fortune, January 8, 2016

Did North Korea really drop an H-bomb?

The estimated magnitude of yesterday’s detonation, 7 to 10 kilotons, equates to a small fission bomb. There are “multiple explanations for North Korea’s consistently low weapon yields,” says NSE’s R. Scott Kemp. “My best guess is that nobody really knows, even in the darkest corners of the CIA.”

Science Insider, January 6, 2016

Two NSE initiatives featured as top seven in Boston

Who should the Breakthrough Energy Coalition be backing? Two NSE-led initiatives &mdash NSE alum Leslie Dewan’s Transatomic Power and NSE Prof Dennis Whyte’s small affordable safe fusion reactor.

BostInno, December 2, 2015

MIT VP for research Maria Zuber discussed the role of nuclear energy in MIT’s climate change plan

The plan called for research of an optimal mix of energy sources, establish policy and economic incentives, and clear technological goals to achieve success. Among the eight carbon free research centers to be established are one on fission energy and a second on fusion energy.

WGBH, Morning Edition, November 11, 2015

NSE’s Whyte quoted in TIME’s cover article on Fusion

“It’s definitely good to see private investment in fusion. ... Their argument is that if the science breaks go their way, they will be able to accelerate the pace of getting fusion on the grid, and I overall agree with that philosophy.”

TIME, November 2, 2015

New MIT design revives interest in high-field approach to fusion

A team of students and researchers at MIT have designed a tokamak made with high-temperature superconductors that may offer a less expensive, more compact route to fusion power, if their coils can withstand the tremendous forces.

physics today, October 12, 2015

MIT Researchers’ (Relatively) Cheap Fusion

Using new superconductive materials, Dennis Whyte’s team has designed a fusion reactor they say should be able to profitably generate grid-scale power using smaller equipment at a much lower cost than current models under development.

Bloomberg, September 10, 2015

MIT team observes unusual magnetic behavior at a material interface

A team of researchers that includes NSE graduate student Mingda Li and NSE Professor Ju Li has analyzed an exotic kind of magnetic behavior, driven by the mere proximity of two materials, using a technique called spin-polarized neutron reflectometry.

NewsUnited, Nanowerk,, SciCasts, SciTechDaily, August 18, 2015

“A Puzzle for Sean”: NSE’s Sara Ferry writes about how the Collier Memorial came to be

MIT students love to solve puzzles. The annual Mystery Hunt, the careful execution of hacks, the uncountable research questions being tackled on campus at any given time: puzzles are an inextricable part of our culture.

Technology Review August 18, 2015

NSE’s Ju Li and team’s nanotechnology accident may lengthen battery lives

According to Matt Kaplan of The Economist, Professor Ju Li has devised a method of producing lithium-ion batteries using nanoparticles. “If the process of making the nanoparticles can be industrialized,” writes Kaplan, “then the lifetimes of lithium-ion batteries might be considerably extended.”

The Economist, August 15, 2015

MIT team designs a small, modular fusion plant

Utilizing these new commercially out there superconductors, rare-earth barium copper oxide (REBCO) superconducting tapes, to supply high-magnetic area coils “simply ripples via the entire design,” says NSE’s Dennis Whyte.

ars technica, n-tv (German) August 13, 2015

Observer Chronicle, Science Codex, Silicon Republic, zme science August 11, 2015

NSE’s class project: An ‘Affordable, Robust, Compact’ Fusion Reactor Design, Buildable in a Decade

A team of researchers, building on work that began as a class project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has published a design for an “ARC” demonstration-scale fusion energy power plant that could actually live up to the ambitious adjectives behind the acronym: “affordable, robust, compact.”

Dot Earth, The New York Times August 11, 2015

NSE’s Kemp among 29 U.S. scientists to praise Iran nuclear deal in letter to Obama

Twenty-nine of the nation’s top scientists — including Nobel laureates, veteran makers of nuclear arms and former White House science advisers — wrote to President Obama on Saturday to praise the Iran deal, calling it innovative and stringent.

The New York Times August 8, 2015

NSE’s Ju Li and team develop electrode that boosts to capacity and power of rechargeable batteries

A team of researchers at MIT and Tsinghua University in China has created an electrode made of nanoparticles with a solid shell, and a “yolk” inside that can change size again and again without affecting the shell. The innovation could drastically improve cycle life, the team says, and provide a dramatic boost in the battery’s capacity and power.

Laboratory Equipment, Nanowerk, News Observer, August 5, 2015

MIT experiences created a helpful connection for key Iran deal negotiators Salehi and Moniz

Ali Akbar Salehi, NSE alum and the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, never knew each other during their time at MIT. But the Institute provided a connection as they worked out the technical aspects of the Iranian nuclear deal. NSE’s Richard Lester and Kent Hansen spoke with WBUR’s Fred Thys about the MIT connection.

WBUR News July 27, 2015

Could next-gen reactors spark revival in nuclear power?

NSE alum Leslie Dewan is the co-creator of a new molten salt reactor, and the millennial face of next-generation nuclear.

National Geographic July 24, 2015

NSE’s Mingda Li co-authors paper on conductivity in polymers

A paper in Advanced Materials presents new findings explaining how electrical charge carriers move in conjugated polymers, potentially opening up further research on electronics applications, including capacitors, photodiodes, sensors, organic light-emitting diodes, and thermoelectric devices.

MIT News Office July 15, 2015

NSE’s Whyte on the promise of fusion energy at CERAweek

Dennis Whyte, gave a talk entitled, “Nuclear Fusion: New Superconductors, 3-D Printing, and Molten Salt Blankets” as part of the MIT session titled “Frontiers of Science and Innovation: What Game-Changing Technologies Are on the Energy Horizon,” at CERAweek 2015.

MIT News Office July 10, 2015

25-year research program on deep-borehole disposal of radioactive waste by NSE’s Driscoll now bearing fruit

Scientists are moving ahead with an $80 million dollar, 5-year test of deep boreholes, to see if they are practical and safe.

Science July 10, 2015

How startups can save nuclear tech

NSE alums Dewan and Rothrock discuss issues facing startups in the nuclear industry.

Fortune July 6, 2015

NSE’s Whyte pitches sooner, cheaper fusion energy

At New York Energy Week Dennis Whyte, Director of the MIT PSFC described a series of scientific and engineering breakthroughs could enable fusion to become a feasible a power source faster and cheaper than anyone had thought possible.

American Security Project June 17, 2015

NSE’s Todreas discusses evolution of nuclear power-generating reactors since their birth in the 1950s

Nuclear power is the best option today to deliver electric power in a sufficiently safe, economical, continuous and secure manner synergistic with supply from other carbon-free sources such as solar and wind. And the technology has been evolving since its birth during World War II.

The Conversation May 20, 2015

NSE alums Dewan and Massie are reviving the nuclear dream

Transatomic Power, founded by NSE alums Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, is poised to build a new, better molten salt reactor. Their reactor will burn up to 96 percent of its fuel, compared with only four percent used by light-water reactors, and generate 75 times the electricity per ton of uranium.

Popular Science May 19, 2015

NSE’s Forget and White are among thirteen newly tenured MIT engineers

The School of Engineering has announced that 13 members of its faculty have been granted tenure by MIT, with appointments in seven of the eight academic departments in the School of Engineering. “This year’s group of newly tenured faculty is remarkable not only for its breadth, but for the quality of their research and teaching,” says Ian A. Waitz, dean of the School of Engineering. “These are truly outstanding people who have had an enormous impact on MIT and their fields, both through scholarship and through teaching and mentoring students.”

MIT News Office May 19, 2015

NSE’s Danagoulian leads team developing active-screening technology for detecting nuclear material in cargo

On 13 April at the American Physical Society meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, Danagoulian will present research on a cargo-screening technology that could enhance detection of uranium and plutonium in cargo.

APS May 14, 2015; Nature April 11, 2015

NSE’s White would like to see robots, and everything else, powered by nuclear fusion

MIT scientists are presenting a report at the American Association for the Advancement of Science that describes what they call America’s growing innovation deficit.

WGBH April 27, 2015

NSE’s Kemp tells the press his view of Iran Framework Agreement

While agreeing that the framework agreement imposing limitations on the Iranian nuclear program is a positive and major step forward, a panel of leading science and security experts cautioned that a measure now moving through Congress will do little to addressa wide range of technical issues that must be resolved in the coming months.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists April 16, 2015

NSE’s Mingda Li and team measure van Vleck magnetism

NSE graduate student Mingda Li, in collaboration with U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, and Pennsylvania State University, measured a subatomic phenomenon called van Vleck magnetism, first predicted more than 60 years ago.

BNL NewsMicroscopy & Analysisphys.orgR&D MagazineScience Daily April 13, 2015

NSE’s Kemp — overall Iran nuclear deal “a remarkable achievement” but Fordo could be a spoiler

NSE’s R. Scott Kemp, a centrifuge expert who formerly worked at the State Department, says Fordo (nuclear plant in the Iranian desert) might enable Iran to acquire the fuel for a bomb in as little as three months.

New York Times April 3, 2015

NSE alum Salehi and Energy Secretary Moniz argue physics behind politics in Iran talks

NSE alum Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization and U.S. Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz are in technical negotiations taking place in Switzerland.

New York Times March 28, 2015

NSE’s Lester — Japan’s adherence to nuclear power critical at home and overseas

Japan’s continued commitment to nuclear energy will be important in reducing its carbon dioxide emissions and also in improving nuclear safety on a global scale, the head of MIT’s Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering said.

Japan Times February 21, 2015

NSE alums Dewan and Massie get $2.5M to Develop the Nuclear Reactor We've Been Waiting For

Transatomic Power, founded by NSE alums Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, has now raised $4.5 million since last summer.

BostInno February 10, 2015

NSE’s Cappellaro finds diamonds could reveal complex protein structures without the need for crystallisation

MIT researchers have developed a new technique capable of producing highly detailed images of single proteins irrespective of the level of complexity in the structure and, more importantly, without the need for crystallisation.

AZOmaterials February 10, 2015

How to prevent metal embrittlement

Researchers in MIT’s departments of Materials Science and Engineering, and Nuclear Science and Engineering have figured out exactly which characteristics of a metal structure tend to foster this embrittlement in the presence of hydrogen.

Imperial Velley News February 8, 2015

NSE’s Lester — innovation involves two fundamental processes: analysis and interpretation.

Enabling innovation across the organization–especially open, collaborative, multidisciplinary innovation–is one of the key roles for senior leaders in a world of smart machines. Innovation — the Missing Dimension, by Lester and Piore explores the essence of innovation in new product development by examining a few truly novel products in different market areas.

Wall Street Journal January 23, 2015

NSE alum Ray Rothrock on support for nuclear energy in the US.

Nuclear energy is suddenly fashionable — as new companies are looking to supplant the world's large, uranium-fueled nuclear reactors with kinds that use different fuels and coolants or perhaps even replace fission with fusion.

Bloomberg View January 20, 2015

NSE’s Li honored as APS Fellow

Ju Li, the Battelle Energy Alliance Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering and professor of materials science and engineering, has been named a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS).

AZO Nano, Anhui News January 12, 2015


NSE’s Manuel and Rosenberg featured by NNSA

Mario Manuel won the prestigious Rosenbluth award.

Stockpile Stewardship Quarterly (pdf)

Back to the Future: Can Nuclear Energy Save the World?

NSE alums Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie's battle against climate change.

The Brookings Essay, Newsweek

Venture Capitalists Return to Backing Science Start-Ups

NSE alum Leslie Dewans’ Transatomic, supoorted by Silicon Valley venture capitalists

New York Times

NSE’s Mujid Kazimi quoted on cross shaped helical fuel

A new type of fuel rod for nuclear reactors could boost power output as much as 17%. The rods, developed by nuclear engineering company Virginia-based Lightbridge, are shaped from zirconium/uranium alloy with a cross configuration and spiral shape that boosts their contact area with water. Upcoming tests will determine whether the new rods are safe

Technology Review

NSE’s Yildiz playing key role in Mars 2020 mission

Whenever the first NASA astronauts arrive on Mars, they will likely have MIT to thank for the oxygen they breathe — and for the oxygen needed to burn rocket fuel that will launch them back home to Earth.

ABC News (Australian), Boston Globe, New York Times,, Sky News

NSE’s nuclear fusion research revived

MIT’s fusion research team gained new life with Congressional restoration of $22.5 million in the 2014 US budget.

Slice of MIT

Floating nuclear plants: Is the future of nuclear offshore?

A team of NSE researchers has presented an alternative nuclear reactor — one that floats on water. Although floating nuclear reactors at sea have some benefits, there are concerns with surrounding marine life and terrorism threats in the context of a post-Fukushima world.

CS Monitor

NSE’s fusion program at the center of political power play

MIT’s prized fusion reactor was dead; its federal funding axed. Then its political allies went to work.

Boston Globe

Transatomic Power’s safer reactor eats nuclear waste

NSE alums’ startup tackles lowering the cost of nuclear energy.

Bloomberg Business Week

NSE’s R. Scott Kemp on rethinking nuclear security efforts

Professor Kemp argues that the barriers to weapon acquisition today are not technological., Technology Review, World News,

NSE’s Jacopo Buongiorno outlines the benefits of offshore small modular reactors

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have proposed a tsunami-proof nuclear concept that combines current reactor technology with a rig similar to those used in oil and gas. MIT’s Jacopo Buongiorno outlines the benefits.

Nuclear Energy Insider

NSE’s Jacob DeWitte, Leslie Dewan, Mark Massie are reimagining nuclear power

Two startups with roots in MIT's Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering are hoping to revive the nuclear power industry. Their technologies aim to solve issues that have bedeviled nuclear power for decades: safety, cost, and radioactive waste.

Boston Globe

NSE team’s floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

Professor Jacopo Buongiorno and a team from are working on a new power plant design could provide enhanced safety, easier siting, and centralized construction.

The Atlantic, Discovery News, The Economist, engadget,Gizmodo, International Business Times, WIRED, World Nuclear News

NSE’s Leslie Dewan: thorium has significant safety advantages.

Both SMRs and thorium have features that make them more attractive than traditional plants. Although few countries are experimenting with the element, it is more abundant than uranium. The World Nuclear Association estimates the world's thorium supply at more than 5.3 million tons. Thorium's qualities make it easier to contain in the event of a reactor malfunction.


NSE’s Li and Yildiz lead the new field of “strain engineering”

The new NSE-led field of “strain engineering” could open up areas of materials research with many potential applications.

Azom, R & D Magazine

NSE’s Anne White Receives Junior Bose teaching award

Professor Anne E. White, an assistant professor in the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering received the 2014 Junior Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching, the MIT News Office reported on February 26.

The Tech

NSE’s Jacopo Buongiorno comments on future nuclear power plant in Kazakhstan

“Modern nuclear plants can be designed to safely withstand and very severe natural events such as earthquake, floods, tornadoes, etc.”


NSE’s Mujid Kazimi responds to call to shut down nuclear power plants

The suggestion by Prof. Emeritus Ernst Frankel in the November/December issue of the MIT Faculty Newsletter regarding nuclear energy, “There is No More Need for Nuclear Power Plants in the USA”, could not be any more wrong. If we did not have nuclear power, we would have had to invent it in order to supply the future generations with an assured supply of energy without increasing the danger from global warming or making the electric grid highly unreliable.

MIT Faculty Newsletter

Funds put NSE’s fusion research back on track

With the push of a button Monday, researchers at MIS resumed efforts to try to harness the process that powers the sun — nuclear fusion — in the hope of developing a stable, nonpolluting source of energy.

With the money restored in the 2014 federal budget, signed recently by President Obama, MIT restarted the Alcator C-Mod, a mini fusion reactor housed at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center.

The Boston Globe,,WBUR,

Restored Federal Funding Re-Energizes MIT’s Fusion Center

The Alcator C-Mod experiment at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center was shut down for more than a year due to federal budget cuts. But scientists are once again at work, creating and controlling the energy of the stars, and possibly the power source for our planet’s future.

Morning Edition, WBUR

NSE’s Neil Todreas addresses nuclear power’s role in responding to climate change in a letter to the environmental community

In a recent open letter to the environmental community published in the New York Times, four leading nuclear experts — three of them with connections to NSE — have called for a major role for nuclear energy in the effort to reduce the risks of global climate change. Neil Todreas, Professor Emeritus of Nuclear Science and Engineering, Andrew Kadak, formerly Professor of the Practice in NSE, and Richard Meserve, previously chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a current member of the NSE Visiting Committee, were joined by Richard Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Physics at Harvard as co-signers of the letter, which endorses an earlier, similar letter to the environmental community written by four leading climate scientists.

New York Times, NEI Nuclear Notes

NSE’s Paola Cappellaro develops a new method to control nanoscale diamond sensors

Paola Cappellaro’s team in MIT’s Quantum Engineering Group has developed a new method to control nanoscale diamond sensors, which are capable of measuring even very weak magnetic fields.

AZnano, R & D Magazine

NSE’s Jacob DeWitte is one of Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 changing the world

Jacob DeWitte’s UPower aims to develop a portable solid-state nuclear generator churning out 1.75 megawatts of power that could, in theory, provide 12 years of energy without needing refueling and offer a 50% savings over diesel.


NSE’s Leslie Dewan is one of TIME magazine’s 30 under 30 changing the world

Leslie Dewan’s planned Waste-Annihilating Molten-Salt Reactor could have a major impact on the energy sector. The innovative design, which she developed with NSE's Mark Massie, mixes nuclear material with molten salt to contain reactions and reduce both waste and the risk of a meltdown.


NSE’s Leslie Dewan and Mark Massie, cofounders of Transatomic Power, cited in Scientific American post discussing the need for innovation in nuclear power

The goal of Transatomic Power is to design a reactor that can generate power from nuclear waste, thus addressing the twin issues of clean energy and nuclear waste removal at the same time. The reactor which is a molten salt reactor lives off the preponderance of energy trapped in unfissioned reactor fuel from light water reactors

Scientific American

NSE’s Charles Forsberg proposes “hybrid” nuclear plants

Many efforts to smooth out the variability of renewable energy sources — such as wind and solar power — have focused on batteries, which could fill gaps lasting hours or days. Charles Forsberg has come up with a much more ambitious idea: He proposes marrying a nuclear powerplant with another energy system, which he argues could add up to much more than the sum of its parts.

The Amalgest

NSE’s Jacopo Buongiorno’s research on magnetic nanoparticles

Particles suspended in cooling water could prevent hotspots in nuclear plant cooling systems and electronics. Cooling systems generally rely on water pumped through pipes to remove unwanted heat. Now, Jacopo Buongiorno, Tom McKrell, and Lin-wen Hu at MIT, and researchers in Australia have found a way of enhancing heat transfer in such systems by using magnetic fields, a method that could prevent hotspots that can lead to system failures. The system could also be applied to cooling everything from electronic devices to advanced fusion reactors, they say.

domain-b, Electronics Cooling, Headlines and Global News, Innovation Report, Science Daily, Semiconductor Engineering, Quest, World Industrial Reporter

NSE’s Emilio Baglietto’s research on modelling of pebble beds

Emilio Baglietto has been running large computations simulating a limited-size randomly-stacked pebble bed containing about 30 pebbles to give insights into the core behaviour of the new generation of pebble-bed high-temperature reactors.

Nuclear Engineering International

NSE’s Dennis Whyte comments on Imelda Marcos’s $829 billion idea to save the world

Imelda Marcos wants to save the world, albeit stylishly. Wearing a simple, discreet slide sandal, the 84-year-old former first lady of the Philippines greets a visitor to her spacious, memento-laden Manila apartment with a surprise: Before reminiscing about politics, fashion, or her years in and out of power, she wants to talk seriously about energy.

Bloomberg Businessweek

NSE’s Bilge Yildiz’s research on pyrite

Pyrite — perhaps better known as “fool’s gold” for its yellowish metallic appearance — is a common, naturally occurring mineral. It holds promise as a high-tech material, with potential uses in solar cells, spintronic devices and catalysts, but is also a byproduct of corrosion of steel in deep-sea oil and gas wells. Both its potential usefulness in devices and its role in corrosion are largely influenced by the fundamental electronic properties of its surface — which have remained relatively unexplored.

Chromatography Techniques

NSE’s Ron Ballinger on the MIT ROTC Oversight Committee

“We wanted to find something to recognize the soldiers who have been past MIT students,” says MIT ROTC Oversight Committee member Ronald Ballinger, a professor of nuclear science and engineering and materials science and engineering who served in the Navy from 1965 to 1972.

MIT News

NSE’s R. Scott Kemp’s research on North Korea’s nuclear program

The recent study, in collaboration with Joshua Pollack, found that North Korean can make gas centrifuges without imported components to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.

The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Arms Control Wonk, Reuters

NSE student entrepreneurs: Leslie Dewan and Jacob DeWitt

Leslie Dewan of Transatomic Power and Jacob DeWitt of UPower are designing safer, cheaper nuclear reactors.


NSE’s Richard Lester discusses the future of nuclear energy on NPR

NPR: Here and Now

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