NSSPI sponsored twelve undergraduate students to visit the Safeguards Laboratory at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee May 17-21 for the Nuclear Material Safeguards Nondestructive Assay Techniques education and practical training course. Dr. Sunil Chirayath and Claudio Gariazzo of NSSPI organized and escorted the students on the trip, and Dr. Alexander Solodov helped conduct the training and visits at ORNL. The course is part of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Next Generation Safeguards Initiative Program at TAMU.
The students were all part of Professor Stephen Guetersloh’s NUEN 303 (Nuclear Detection and Isotope Technology Laboratory) class.
During the week-long visit to ORNL, the students learned the fundamental science and practical application of safeguards measurement techniques through laboratory experimentation. In addition, the students attended lectures in safeguard measurement techniques, visited the Spallation Neutron Source, the X-10 Graphite Reactor, the Coupled End-to-End demonstration hot cell facility, and the National Center for Computational Sciences’ Jaguar XT5 computer facilities at the laboratory in addition to seeing one of the three high-purity germanium crystal growing facilities in the world.
“The trip was a great experience,” Aaron Roney said. “It was an opportunity to see another aspect of the nuclear engineering field in addition to networking with those in the industry, classmates and professors.”
Since March 2007, nuclear engineering graduate students have travelled to ORNL to participate in the safeguards training. The NNSA-sponsored trip is aimed at developing new experts in the field of nuclear material safeguards and nonproliferation and has received many accolades from the Department of Energy. Hence, this program has now been replicated with the University of Tennessee, University of Michigan and North Carolina State University.
In an effort to educate a younger audience on nuclear material safeguards and the way nuclear engineers can work in nuclear nonproliferation, it was expanded to include undergraduate students. This is the second trip for undergraduate students.
“By including the undergraduate students to the lab, it’s an opportunity to expose the capabilities and facilities to the undergraduate student population for potential future recruitment,” said Claudio Gariazzo, Associate Research Engineer, NSSPI.
Students attending the trip were Jonathan Dougherty, Stephen Doyle, Erik Evans, Oscar Galvan, Logan Gaul, Jeff Guillermo, Nischal Kafle, Yonghwy Kim, Carolyn McGraw, Aaron Roney, Ben Sheppard, and Michael Swim.