Welcome to the Bay Area Nuclear Data Group!

Our group is engaged in a wide range of experimental and evaluation activities to address nuclear data deficiencies. Most of this work takes place at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 88-Inch Cyclotron or at the High Flux Neutron Generator within the UC Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering

The goal of the Bay Area Nuclear Data Group is to address the data needs of the basic and applied nuclear science community while training the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers in the process.

The Bay Area Nuclear Data Group works closely with the Bay Area Neutron Group (BANG) led by Bethany Goldblum and the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NSSC) on a wide variety of nuclear data, security and education related efforts.

Research Areas

Fission

Since its discovery in 1938, the understanding of nuclear fission has played a central role in the development of nuclear technology, which has had an enormous impact on the world today. The Bay Area Nuclear Data group seeks to improve our understanding of the fission process through improved measurements and modeling. Our group is measuring independent fission yields for short-lived products at the Fast Loading & Unloading Facility for Fission Yields (FLUFFY) which could have a significant impact understanding the reactor anti-neutrino anomaly. We have also developed a model-independent method of determining fission yield covariances and have developed the FIER code to predict gamma-ray spectra from fission. more

Isotope Production

Every year, approximately 17 million nuclear medicine procedures (both diagnostic and therapeutic) are performed in the U.S. alone. Most of the radionuclides currently used for these procedures are produced by low- and intermediate-energy accelerators, e.g., 11C, 18F, 68Ga, 82Rb, and 123I. These accelerators also produce non-medical radionuclides with commercial value, such as 22Na, 73As, 95mTc, and 109Cd. However, the production of radioisotopes for research, industry, and commercial purposes is in short supply. Consequently, through the research necessary to address such deficiencies, it is possible to expand this list of options to include novel and emerging isotopes, as well as develop alternative pathways for production of established isotopes. Isotope production sits at the intersection of a number of different multidisciplinary fields: chemistry, biochemical engineering, experimental nuclear physics, and nuclear medicine. Bringing together these different disciplines allows for the development of next-generation, personalized approaches to medical imaging and cancer therapy. Most of the work being done by our group is performed under the auspices of the DOE Isotope Program, managed by the Office of Science. more

Neutron Scattering

The interaction of neutrons with matter is central to both basic and applied nuclear science from the functioning of nuclear reactors and weapons to the formation of heavy elements in astrophysical settings. However, the fact that they interact with the world solely through the nuclear forces and gravitation makes the modeling of neutron transport both challenging to model (e.g., evaluate) and fascinating to study. more

Evaluation

Many members of the BAND group support nuclear data evaluation. Evaluation is the most painstaking part of the nuclear data pipeline process described in our recent review article. Evaluation takes different forms depending on the type of nuclear data.

Information about low-lying nuclear structure (e.g., level energies, Jπ values, lifetimes etc.) resides in the Evaluated Nuclear Structure Data File (ENSDF). The governing philosophy behind ENSDF evaluation is to take all information that is known about discrete states in a given nucleus from nuclear reactions and decay and combine them to create a recommended set of Adopted Levels and Gammas for general use. more

Users may raise awareness of issues in nuclear structure data through the new Nuclear Structure Experimental Issues (NSEI) website.

The BAND group has also developed NucScholar, a tool to support nuclear data evaluation through Natural Language Processing (NLP).

Nuclear Data Coordination Activities

High quality nuclear data provides tremendous benefit to society by improving national security, helping in the design of advanced, safe nuclear power and through the production of radionuclides for the treatment and diagnosis of illness. However, the role of nuclear data in these pursuits is often “hidden” inside of topic-specific modeling. As a US Nuclear Data Program center located at a world-class University and nuclear engineering department, the lab that gave birth to the nuclear age and next to a premier national security lab (LLNL) the BAND Group is well-poised to bring together the users and providers of nuclear data to develop a national plan to address cross-cutting nuclear data needs. more

Thermal Neutron Capture

The neutron-capture reaction is fundamental for identifying and analyzing the γ-ray spectrum from an unknown assembly because it provides unambiguous information on the neutron-absorbing isotopes. Nondestructive-assay applications may exploit this phenomenon passively, for example, in the presence of spontaneous-fission neutrons, or actively where an external neutron source is used as a probe. more

FURNACE

The Facility for University-based Reactor and Nuclear Astrophysics Capture Experiments (FURNACE) will perform nuclear data experiments needed to improve modeling of fast reactors and astrophysicsl nucleosynthesis in the 1-1000 keV energy region. more

Global Heavy Charged-Particle Decay Database

Nuclei far from stability reveal properties of nuclear structure phenomena at an extreme imbalance of the number of neutrons and protons with respect to stable nuclei, allowing a better understanding of fundamental nuclear interactions. In most cases, the study of heavy charged particle decay modes is the only method available to populate the nuclear states necessary to obtain this information. more

Projects

225Ac Production

Actinium-225 is a leading candidate isotope for an exciting new class of cancer treatment, targeted alpha therapy (TAT), which has shown potential to drastically improve recovery from metastatic cancers. Our group seeks to develop methods for producing 225Ac in quantities and purities sufficient for clinical use. more

NucScholar

Nuclear science research and applications rely on a constant torrent of new journal articles published in over 80 mainstream journals: in 2020, there were over 4000 papers published in the top nine nuclear science journals alone. NucScholar is a project to automate the processing of nuclear science literature using natural language processing (NLP) to simultaneously boost researcher productivity while lowering the effort required to maintain important databases. Try out the NucScholar Search Engine today! more

FLUFFY

Short-lived (< 1 s) fission yields are being measured at LBNL's 88-inch Cyclotron using a newly constructed pneumatic transport system. These measurements will contribute to the improvement of fission yield nuclear data for nuclear security and basic science applications. more

Stacked-Target Cross Section Measurements

Our group works on producing well-characterized, precision reaction data measurements, using “variance minimization” techniques to reduce the systematic uncertainties which often plague such measurements. Well-characterized data is necessary for improving our reaction modeling capabilities, but also has numerous applications in science and engineering. more

GENESIS

The GENESIS project aims to support the next generation of nuclear data needs for neutron scattering cross sections by providing energy and angle differential neutron and gamma ray detection capabilities on an energy tunable collimated neutron beamline at the 88-Inch Cyclotron. more

Nuclear Data Uncertainties

The assessment of uncertainty on deduced quantities obtained through both measurement and modeling must include contributions from both components. There are several methods to estimate the uncertainty due to modeling, such as the parametric uncertainty and that stemming from model bias. more

Nuclear Excitation for Minor Actinide Burn-up

The 141 year “metastable” state in Americium-242m is a troublesome “Anti-Goldilocks” minor actinide component of spent nuclear fuel with a lifetime that is too long for short-term storage but too short to be ideally suited for long-term waste disposal solutions. Under support from Google, a collaboration of Bay Area Nuclear Data researchers and experimentalists from the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center is exploring the acceleration of metastable state decay using high-repetition rate petawatt lasers to "burn-up" these minor actinides. more

ENSDF

The Evaluated Nuclear Structure Data File (ENSDF) is a database containing the measured properties of nuclei including decay data. It contains recommended level energies, spins, parities, half-lives, gamma-ray energies, radiation energies, intensities, decay modes, and other pertinent information for over 3,300 nuclides. more

FIER

The Fission Induced Electromagnetic Response code was developed at LBNL at UC Berkeley to calculate delayed gamma-ray emissions resulting from the irradiation of actinide samples. This code was recently published and is available for public use. more

Tri-Lab Collaboration

Energetic charged particles are one of the workhorses of domestic Isotope Production activities. However, for many isotopes of interest, production cross section data is severely lacking. This project seeks to establish capabilities for charged particle cross section measurements for the nuclear reactions that are relevant to isotope production needs. The focus is on proton reactions induced in the energy range from 0-200 MeV, to leverage the accelerator capabilities of the DoE Isotope Program. more

Baghdad Atlas

Inelastic neutron scattering is a dominant energy-loss mechanism for fast neutrons in heavy (A > 12) nuclei and produces unique γ-ray signatures of the material which the neutrons are incident upon. As such, a good knowledge of it is required for virtually all branches of applied nuclear science ranging from shielding calculations to the design of advanced nuclear-energy systems to international security and counter proliferation. more

NDNCA

The Workshop on Nuclear Data Needs and Capabilities for Applications (NDNCA) was held at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) on 27-29 May 2015. The goals of NDNCA were to compile nuclear data needs across a wide spectrum of applied nuclear science, and to provide a summary of associated capabilities (e.g., accelerators, reactors, spectrometers, etc.) available for required measurements. more

Fission Covariances

A new method for generating correlation and covariance matrices between fission product yields has been developed. This method has been applied to all of the compound systems in the ENDF and JEFF evaluations, making it the most comprehensive set of matrices publically available to date. more

Charged Particle Reaction Modeling

We have found that default modeling predictions from TALYS, CoH, EMPIRE, and ALICE reaction codes failed to reproduce the measured stacked-target activation, data and required modifications to improve. In turn, we have set forth a systematic algorithm to determine the set of reaction model input parameters, in a scientifically justifiable manner, that best reproduce the most prominent observed reaction channels. more

High Flux Neutron Generator

The High-Flux Neutron Generator (HFNG) group is a collaboration of research scientists, professors, graduate and undergraduate students, and industry experts. Using a compact particle accelerator, we focus a beam of Deuterium ions onto a water-cooled Titanium target, which generates an intense beam of neutrons through a nuclear fusion reaction. We use this neutron beam to study properties of nuclear structure and nuclear reactions, to precisely date geologic samples, to test circuitry for high-radiation space applications, and to provide a testbed for novel medical isotope generation techniques. more

WANDA 2019/2020

The Workshop for Applied Nuclear Data Activities (WANDA) was held at the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University from 22 to 25 January 2019. The purpose of WANDA was to bring subject matter experts from the national laboratories, universities and industry together with government program managers and their advisors to develop collaborative plans of action (e.g., roadmaps) to address outstanding issues in nuclear data that effect applications ranging from nuclear energy to national security and nonproliferation to isotope production. more

Production with Deuteron Breakup Neutrons

The nuclear data group has explored the use of intense fast neutron beams from the breakup of energetic deuteron beams from the 88-Inch Cyclotron on Low-Z targets. The range of these fast neutrons is significantly higher than corresponding charged particle beams since they do not lose energy through electronic stopping. Work by Saltmarsh and Meulders indicates that as much 3-9% of a deuteron beam can be converted into a high-flux neutron beam via thick target deuteron breakup. more

Nuclear Data Review Article

In 2019 the BAND group produced an article for the Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Physics titled “Our Future Nuclear Data Needs” that serves as an introduction to the world of nuclear data and describes some of the most important applications of nuclear data. more

NSEI

The purpose of the Nuclear Structure Experimental Issues (NSEI) website is to provide a mechanism for nuclear data evaluators and the low-energy community, in general, to raise awareness of issues in nuclear structure data. Users can enter a brief description of the issue they would like to raise, and a committee working under the auspices of the Nuclear Structure and Decay Data (NSDD) Network of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will make researchers in the field who might be interested in helping to resolve the problem aware of the issue. more

Our Group

Lee Bernstein

Principal Investigator

Lee Bernstein is the Nuclear Data Group Leader at LBNL and an Associate Professor at the UC-Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering. He leads the Bay Area Nuclear Data Group, whose mission is to meet the nuclear data needs of the applied and basic science and engineering community while training the next generation of nuclear scientists and engineers in the process. more

Catherine Apgar

Graduate Student

Catherine is a PhD student and a member of the nuclear data group at UC Berkeley. She has performed data analysis as a member of the 2019 Master of Engineering cohort at UC Berkeley and prior to that for five years in the insurance industry. more

Preston Awedisean

Graduate Student

Preston is a first year Ph.D. student in the Nuclear Engineering department at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on nuclear source analysis and threat adjudication. more

M. Shamsuzzoha Basunia

Research Scientist

M. Shamsuzzoha Basunia is a Physicist Research Scientist at LBNL and working within the Nuclear Data Program (NDP), Nuclear Science Division, LBNL, also known as Isotopes Project, since 2003. He is involved mainly with nuclear structure data evaluation and partially with experiments using the 88-inch cyclotron at LBNL. more

Jon Batchelder

Research Scientist

Jon Batchelder is an Assistant Research Engineer in the Nuclear Engineering Department at UC Berkeley and a nuclear structure evaluator with more than two decades of experience measuring the properties of nuclei far from stability using radioactive beams and decay spectroscopy. more

Darren Bleuel

LLNL Staff Scientist

Dr. Darren Bleuel is a staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His research includes direct neutron scattering and fission cross section measurements, nuclear level density and gamma strength function measurements, nuclear-plasma interactions, and neutron/gamma-ray spectroscopy. more

Christopher Brand

Graduate Student

Chris Brand is a PhD student at UC-Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering and is employed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). His Academic Advisor is Prof. Lee Bernstein and his Laboratory Mentor is Dr. Darren Bleuel. He performs research in support of the fast, mono-energetic neutron imaging project at LLNL which includes various simulation/experimental efforts for neutron diagnostics. more

Joshua Brown

Research Scientist

Josh Brown is a research engineer at University of California Berkeley. He has broad interests in nuclear detection research and development including fast neutron and gamma ray detection. He enjoys working at many levels from high fidelity component characterization, to system level design and benchmarking. more

Char Juin Chin

Undergraduate Student

Char Juin Chin is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley studying Computer Science and Linguistics. His current research focuses on natural language processing and its applications in nuclear data with NucScholar. more

Anastasia Georgiadou

Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. Anastasia Georgiadou is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. She conducts neutron inelastic scattering cross-section measurements with the GENESIS array. more

Bethany Goldblum

Research Scientist

Dr. Bethany Goldblum is a Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Research Engineer at the University of California, Berkeley. more

Joey Gordon

Graduate Student

Joey Gordon started his PhD in Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley in Fall 2019, and his research is on neutron inelastic scattering cross sections with the Gamma-Energy Neutron-Energy Spectrometer for Inelastic Scattering (GENESIS). more

Isabel Hernandez

Graduate Student

Isabel Hernandez is a Ph.D. student in Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley, working in the Nuclear Data Group. more

Aaron Hurst

Research Scientist

Dr. Aaron Hurst undertook a Ph. D. in nuclear physics under the supervision of Prof. Peter Butler at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. His thesis topic focused on low-energy Coulomb-excitation measurements using the Radioactive ion-beam Experiment Isotope Separator Online (REX-ISOLDE) facility at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland. more

Thibault Laplace

Research Scientist

Thibault Laplace is an Assistant Research Engineer in the Nuclear Engineering Department at UC Berkeley. His research interests include neutron detection, detector characterization, and measurements of low-energy nuclear properties and cross sections. more

Abby (Yun-Hsuan) Lee

Undergraduate Student

Abby (Yun-Hsuan) Lee is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley from Taiwan, majoring in nuclear engineering with a passion for physics. Her research focuses on nuclear reaction modeling and data analysis using TALYS. more

Keenan Myers

Graduate Student

Keenan Myers is a first year PhD student at UC Berkeley and a member of the nuclear data group. more

Tyler Nagel

Graduate Student

Tyler Nagel is a PhD student in Nuclear Engineering under Dr. Lee Bernstein. He received his M.S. from UC Berkeley in 2020 for work on lepton recoil corrections in beta-delayed neutron spectroscopy using trapped ions. His current research involves cross section measurements for neutron induced reactions on Cl-35. more

Sarah Stevenson

Graduate Student

Sarah Stevenson is a PhD student in Peter Hosemann’s Nuclear Materials Group at UC Berkeley, developing a novel ion beam degrader to support materials science research at the 88-Inch Cyclotron. more

Andrew Voyles

Research Scientist

Dr. Andrew Voyles is an Assistant Research Engineer in the Nuclear Engineering Department at UC Berkeley, and leads the Isotope Production Group at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's 88-Inch Cyclotron. This work focuses on the production of novel isotopes for medical applications, developing new production methods for existing isotopes, and refining the predictive models at the intersection of isotope production and low-energy nuclear physics. more

Walid Younes

Consultant

Dr. Walid Younes is a consultant with the Nuclear Data Group and guest instructor at the UC Berkeley Department of Nuclear Engineering, with over 25 years of experience in experimental and theoretical nuclear physics. His research interests currently are focused on the development of a microscopic theory of fission. more

Alumni

For a list of former group members, please click here.