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Summer School

Radiation Detection for Nuclear Security

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is pleased to offer a new summer school course that emphasizes the need for radiation detection in nuclear security, June 16-27, 2014. This two-week hands-on summer school for graduate and advanced undergraduate students explores

callout application deadline
  • Nuclear security missions and their real-world constraints
  • The contributions of radiation detectors
  • The interface of technology, policy and operations

The course heavily emphasizes laboratory and field demonstrations, including direct measurements of special nuclear material, and students will attend seminars given by top experts in the field. This summer school is funded by National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA's) Office of Nonproliferation and Verification Research and Development

Course Overview

This course is designed to provide students with a unique understanding of nuclear security challenges faced in the field and expose them to the technical foundations, analysis, and insight that will be required by future leaders in technology development. The two-week course emphasizes "foundations" and "applications" in nuclear security with lectures on the following topics:

  • Fundamentals of Radiation Detection
  • Nuclear Safeguards
  • Gamma-ray Spectroscopy
  • Arms Control & Treaty Verification
  • Neutron Multiplicity Counting
  • Interdiction
  • Nuclear Fuel & Enrichment
  • Emergency Response

A variety of hands-on activities to reinforce classroom dialogue are also planned, including:

  • Modeling Source Terms
  • Detector Sensitivity vs. Selectivity
  • Neutron Moderation
  • Border Guard Training
  • Tours of AREVA Fuel Fabrication Plant and the Hanford B Reactor

Student Eligibility

hammer training facililty
Students at the HAMMER training facility stand next
to a mock nuclear warhead used in demonstrations of treaty verification.

The course is designed for graduate students in science and engineering programs and interest in careers within the US national laboratory system or federal government agencies responsible for nuclear security. Experienced upper-level undergraduates will also be considered. Special consideration will be given to students whose research is funded by NNSA's Office of Nonproliferation and Verification R&D (NA-22), and students performing research in fields with potential nuclear security applications.

Only US citizens are eligible for this course.

For more information, please email Robert Runkle or call
(509) 375-1966. Applications are due by March 14, 2014.


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