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Nuclear Science and Engineering
Fusion Science and Technology
A day in the life of the nuclear community
The November issue of Nuclear News is focused on the individuals who make up our nuclear community.
We invited a small group of those individuals to tell us about their day-to-day work in some of the many occupations and applications of nuclear science and technology, and they responded generously. They were ready to tell us about the part they play, together with colleagues and team members, in supplying clean energy, advancing technology, protecting safety and health, and exploring fundamental science.
In these pages, we see a community that can celebrate both those workdays that record progress moving at a steady pace and the exceptional days when a goal is reached, a briefing is delivered, a contract goes through, a discovery is made, or an unforeseen challenge is overcome.
The Nuclear News staff hopes that you enjoy meeting these members of our community—or maybe get reacquainted with friends—through their words and photos.
Hesham Khater, Sandra Brereton, Lucile Dauffy, Jim Hall, Luisa Hansen, Soon Kim, Bertram Pohl, Shiva Sitaraman, Jerome Verbeke, Mitchell Young
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 74 | Number 4 | November 2018 | Pages 387-405
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.1080/15361055.2018.1471961
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is the world’s largest and most energetic laser system for inertial confinement fusion. The NIF is designed to perform shots with varying fusion yield (up to 20 MJ or 7.1 × 1018 neutrons per shot). A large number of diagnostic instruments are present inside the target chamber (TC) and target bay (TB) during shots. The gamma dose rates due to neutron activation are estimated at various decay times following the high-yield (20-MJ) shots. Several components, like the snout assemblies of the diagnostic instrument manipulators and target positioners are inserted inside the TC, close to the target during the shot. These components represent major sources of gamma decay after retraction outside the TC. Five days after a 20-MJ shot, dose rates near the highly activated (retracted) parts are on the order of 1 mSv/h and dose rates within the TB outside the TC but at distance from the retracted components drop to about 50 to 70 μSv/h. The dose is dominated by decay of 24Na (T1/2 = 14.95 h) and waiting for two additional days drops the dose rates significantly. Seven days following a 20-MJ shot, dose rates in the immediate vicinity of the retracted components drop to <0.2 mSv/h and the general ambient dose rates within the TB (away from retracted components) near the TC drop to <10 μSv/h. Dose rates at much larger distances from the TC (near TB wall) are an order of magnitude lower. Detailed radiation transport simulations are performed to create detailed dose rate maps for all floors inside the TB. The maps are used to estimate worker stay-out times following shots before entry is permitted into the TB.