Seminar - 11142014

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Nuclear Energy and Security

November 14, 2014
ME Lecture Hall

Jason T. Harris, Ph.D. 

Associate Professor, Department of Nuclear Engineering and Health Physics, Idaho State University / Idaho National Laboratory 



Recently there has been tremendous interest in developing nuclear energy and technologies involving nuclear and radioactive materials around the world. One of the biggest challenges presented by the global nuclear energy revival is maintaining effective security wherever nuclear or other radioactive material is in use, storage and/or transport, and of associated facilities, especially in countries/regions of heightened security risk. Â Every effort should be made to take all possible necessary measures, as extensively as possible, in order to protect society from criminal or unauthorized acts involving nuclear and other radioactive material, including nuclear terrorism. Nuclear security includes all such efforts. The international community has developed a number of key instruments related to nuclear security including various International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Information Circulars (INFCIRCs) and United Nation conventions. In addition, partnerships and meetings such as the Nuclear Security Summit have addressed the need for international cooperation in nuclear security. Very broadly, nuclear security can be broken down into three basic elements: prevention, detection and response. Prevention includes all such security measures that may serve either as deterrence or prevent any unauthorized access to a protected nuclear facility and associated facilities. Detection includes all such security measures that help in detection of any unauthorized access to a protected nuclear facility. Response is the security strategy used to defeat an adversary by preventing it from accomplishing its tasks either by containment or by neutralization. The increasing nuclear terrorism threat has forced States to develop education and training programs in this area. The IAEA has assisted in this regard. The purpose of this presentation is to give an overview of nuclear energy and talk about the measures used to secure nuclear facilities at the international, State, and local level.


Dr. Jason T. Harris is currently Associate Professor at Idaho State University (ISU) in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Health Physics. Dr. Harris received his Ph.D. from Purdue University in health physics in 2007, an M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in nuclear engineering in 2002, and a B.S. in biology and chemistry from the University of Tampa in 1995. Dr. Harris has over 10 years of experience as the primary instructor for courses in Health Physics and Nuclear Engineering, including diverse subjects such as radiation detection and instrumentation, health physics, radiation physics, laboratory experimentation, nonproliferation, and nuclear security. He has been an active participant in undergraduate research opportunities and department-wide capstone design projects.

Dr. Harris also holds a joint appointment with the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and serves as the ISU Associate Director for the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), a public/private partnership between the ID research universities and INL. Dr. Harris has contributed and oversees nearly $40M in external funding brought in through the center. At CAES, Dr. Harris is the Nuclear Science and Engineering Core Capability Coordinator and Analytical Instrumentation Lead. He also serves as the ISU Radiation Safety Committee Chair. He has experience in a broad array of operational health physics areas, including laboratory scale biological research, high-energy electron accelerators, and low-power research reactors.

As part of his research activities, Dr. Harris participates in a number of areas related to environmental and reactor health physics, accelerator applications, radiation detection and measurement, nonproliferation, and nuclear security. He is considered an expert in nuclear power plant radiological emissions - lecturing extensively and interviewed frequently by several media outlets. He has graduate nearly 20 MS and PhD students and has served on research committees for nearly 50 MS and PhD students in health physics, nuclear engineering, and physics. He has authored or co-authored over 20 peer-reviewed papers or proceedings and over 60 conference presentation abstracts on a diverse set of topics. Since coming to ISU in 2008, he has secured over $5M in competitive external grants and contracts as Principle Investigator or Co-Principle Investigator. In 2012, he received the Health Physics Society Elda Anderson Award and Purdue University School of Health Sciences Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

Since 2009, Dr. Harris has worked in several endeavors related to nuclear security. In 2012, he became the Chair of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Nuclear Security Education Network (INSEN). He has helped grow the network from about 20 members to over 100 (representing 40 member nations). His work has led him to participate in numerous nuclear security activities. He serves as an expert for the U.S. Department of State Partnership for Nuclear Security (PNS), lecturing at a number of professional development workshops throughout the world. He also serves on the Advisory Board for the European Masters Program in Nuclear Security, sponsored by the IAEA and European Commission and the Mountain West Nuclear Science and Education Consortium (focusing on nuclear nonproliferation and security studies).


Dr. Daniel A. Nussbaum
Naval Postgraduate School 
Principal, Energy Academic Group
Monterey CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2387
Mobile: 831-324-3228

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