Every year, a group of NSSPI students attend a nuclear security and safeguards short course in the Safeguards Laboratory at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). This year’s short course took place in April and the group consisted of five nuclear engineering graduate students currently working with NSSPI faculty and three students from the Bush School of Government and Public Service. The students were accompanied by NSSPI Deputy Director and nuclear engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Craig Marianno.
The week-long short course consisted of both lectures and valuable hands-on experiences intended to provide the students a practical understanding of a number of Non-Destructive Assay techniques used for measuring and characterizing special nuclear material. Topics covered during the short course included: radiation source search training; uranium enrichment measurements; uranium holdup measurements; neutron coincidence counting using an AWCC; portal monitors; and portable NDA instrumentation operation.
In addition, the students experienced technical tours of the X-10 Graphite Reactor, the High Flux Isotope Reactor, ORNL’s Supercomputer Facility, the Y-12 National Security Complex, and the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center.
This year, travel to ORNL for students to attend this short course was sponsored by the Office of Radiological Security at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). Use of the Safeguards Laboratory facility and the participation of ORNL staff was sponsored by the NNSA’s Next Generation Safeguards Initiative.