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Nuclear security, deep water drilling, black hole signal flares and more at 2011 APS annual meeting
Date:4/7/2011

The physics of deep water drilling, new energy technologies, science at the LHC, tests of gravity at both very large and small scales, and much more cutting edge science will be featured in talks at this year's April meeting of the American Physical Society (APS). The meeting runs from April 30 to May 3 at the Hyatt Hotel Orange County in Anaheim, CA.

Journalists are invited to attend the meeting free of charge. Registration information can be found at the end of this release.

MEETING HIGHLIGHTS

The items below highlight some of the interesting talks and sessions at the meeting.

WATCHING NUCLEAR REACTORS WITH NEUTRINOS

Under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has installed nuclear safeguard systems to monitor nuclear reactors. These systems, while effective, lack certain attractive features: they cannot provide real-time monitoring of reactor activities and some of them interfere with reactor operations. Antineutrino detectors can provide a continuous, real-time, and less intrusive method for monitoring reactors, according to Fangfei Shen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This proposed safeguards system, tested at reactors in Russia and the United States, is a spin off from antineutrino experiments, many of which use reactors to produce antineutrinos. Monitoring antineutrino flux can detect illicit activities in reactors, such as the diversion of plutonium. Sensitivity to changes in fissile content in a few months using only antineutrino data has been demonstrated with greater than 99 percent confidence. In the last few years, the IAEA has begun to consider the potential of this technology for its reactor safeguards regime, said Gregory Keefer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). An upcoming experiment, to be described by Timothy Classen of LLNL will monitor antineutrinos at a nuclear reactor in Canada through its construction to operatio
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Contact: James Riordon
riordon@aps.org
301-209-3238
American Physical Society
Source:Eurekalert

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