04/04/14 — Sometime soon, Sylvain Costes (Ph.D'99 NE) hopes that annual medical checkups will include a simple blood test to determine levels of DNA damage. The list of things assaultive to the body's basic building blocks is long - radiation, ultraviolet light and toxins, to name a few - and errors occur even during normal cell division. The body continually repairs this damaged DNA, but sometimes, the routine repair process can fail. DNA damage and genetic mutations can lead to serious health problems like cancer, immunological disorders, neurological disorders and premature aging.
03/24/14 Contra Costa Times — Japanese radioisotopes aren't lurking in the sand at Miramar Beach, the California Department of Public Health said in a final report debunking suggestions that the beach contained radioactive material from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. "Nuclear radiation is something you can't smell, see and feel; it tends to scare people" said UC Berkeley nuclear engineering professor Kai Vetter, leader of the school's Rad Watch project, which has tested West Coast air, rain, milk and fish without finding any evidence that Fukushima-related contamination poses a health threat.
03/14/14 Daily Clog Science — In an Ask Me Anything session this week on Reddit, six professors from UC Berkeley's department of nuclear engineering answered questions ranging from concerns about thorium reactor design to environmental monitoring in Fukushima.
01/14/14 Berkeley Lab — California researchers, including nuclear engineering's Kai Vetter, have launched “Kelp Watch 2014,” a scientific campaign to determine the extent of radioactive contamination of the state's kelp forest from Japan's damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.
07/01/13 New York Times — A pending Senate bill would solicit input from the public about where to bury the nation's nuclear waste. Per F. Peterson, professor of nuclear engineering, praised the action as "something highly unusual" in the creation of public policy that "establishes a strong foundation for the legislation to be successful" if passed by Congress.
05/01/13 — Nuclear detection is becoming portable with RadMAP, Berkeley's Radiological Multi-sensor Platform, a detection system built into a truck.
07/05/12 Network World — The University of California at Berkeley is the number one university for producing U.S. tech industry CEOs. Graduates include Paul Jacobs, CEO and chairman of Qualcomm, who holds three degrees from Berkeley: bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering. Another graduate of Berkeley is Paul Otellini, CEO and president of Intel, who holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business, as does Shantanu Narayan, CEO and president of Adobe.
06/21/12 Virtual Strategy — The UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering Department has been awarded an American Nuclear Society Presidential Citation for serving at the leading edge of communication to educate California and the nation about radiological impact to the U.S. from the Fukushima incident. "The efforts by UC-Berkeley Nuclear Engineering faculty and students to provide accurate and authoritative information to the public following Fukushima were outstanding and serve as a model to emulate," said ANS President Eric Loewen.
05/01/12 — The White House has tapped two of Berkeley Engineering's own for leadership on critical presidential initiatives.
03/19/12 — With America's nuclear waste management program at an impasse, we have been anxiously awaiting word from President Obama's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future-with Berkeley's Nuclear Engineering Chair Per Peterson among its 15 distinguished members-on how to break the deadlock.
04/08/11 — When disaster strikes, all of us feel compelled to respond. Japan's devastating earthquake on March 11 called forth our faculty and students to help in ways only an engineer can.
03/19/11 Los Angeles Times — U.S. scientists and sensors are poised to detect radioactive fallout from Japan's nuclear accident, but aside from a 'minuscule' amount at a Sacramento station, they've found none. The nuclear engineering department at UC Berkeley set up its own independent monitoring Wednesday on top of the campus' Etcheverry Hall. The system looks for gamma rays with energy "signatures" corresponding to radioactive isotopes, said Kai Vetter, a professor in the department. As of Friday morning, Vetter said, they hadn't seen any evidence of suspicious radiation.
03/18/11 Bloomberg — U.S. nuclear power plants that store thousands of metric tons of spent atomic fuel pose risks of a crisis like the one unfolding in Japan, where crews are battling to prevent a meltdown of stored fuel, nuclear safety experts said. Nuclear plants weren't designed with the intention of storing their spent fuel permanently, said Bozidar Stojadinovic, a professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley. "The plants have always been designed with the idea that the fuel will be taken care of," Stojadinovic said. "The government promised to do that."
Radioactive particles arriving in the Bay Area, but pose no risk, say UC scientists and health officials
03/18/11 San Jose Mercury News — While public health officials downplayed fears that a plume from Japan's crippled nuclear reactors was descending on California, scientists at UC Berkeley declared they were already detecting radioactive particles from 5,000 miles across the ocean. The differing accounts illustrated the confusion on the fallout from Japan's crisis, but scientists and public health experts agreed that whatever radiation may drift to California and the West Coast will be too minuscule to pose any health risks. "We see evidence of fission particles -- iodine, cesium, barium and krypton, a whole dog's breakfast of radiation," said Ed Morse, professor of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley, whose students have set up a monitor on the rooftop of the campus's Etcheverry Building.
03/18/11 Los Angeles Times — As a crack is discovered in a Fukushima spent fuel pool, officials confront two crucial tasks: preventing a runaway chain reaction into the nuclear fuel and maintaining a massive flow of seawater through the damaged pools and reactor vessels. Edward Morse and Per Peterson of UC Berkeley's Department of Nuclear Engineering offer analysis.
03/15/11 Bloomberg — UC Berkeley nuclear engineering professor Don Olander said the damage to nuclear plants in Japan after an earthquake is different from the disaster at Chernobyl in the Ukraine in 1986. "This is a reactor which has two containments...If that is intact, if the melt has not gone through the bottom, then most of the fission products will stay inside. Chernobyl did not have that protection. Chernobyl was open and the entire core was destroyed."
03/15/11 KQED Forum — As Japan struggles to contain the worst nuclear emergency since Chernobyl, Michael Krasny talks with experts including Per Peterson, chair of the Nuclear Engineering Department at UC Berkeley, about the potential fallout from the nuclear reactors in Fukushima.
03/14/11 San Francisco Chronicle — As Japanese nuclear engineers struggled to contain partial meltdowns of two major nuclear power reactors in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami, experts in the United States said Sunday that a similar disaster would be highly unlikely here. Fifty-four power reactors regularly supply electricity throughout Japan, and the crisis represents "an incredibly rare worst-case disaster," said Jasmina Vujic, a professor of nuclear engineering at UC Berkeley and a specialist in the design of reactor cores and radiation protection.
03/12/11 ABC News — States of emergency are in effect at five nuclear power plants in Japan. Evacuations are underway as the concern grows about the possibility of a nuclear meltdown. Berkeley nuclear engineers say the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, which is now shut down, is about 40 years old. "This increase of radioactivity in the control room makes me very nervous," said UC Berkeley nuclear engineering professor Joonhong Ahn, who was born in Japan.
03/07/11 — A UC Berkeley-led consortium of seven universities has been awarded a multi-year grant ($25 million for a 5-year period) from the U.S. Department of Energy NNSA Office of Proliferation Detection. The consortium will largely focus on education and hands-on training of undergraduate and graduate students in the core set of experimental disciplines that support the nation's non-proliferation and nuclear security mission: nuclear physics, nuclear chemistry, nuclear instrumentation, and nuclear engineering.