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Nuclear Science: From Energy to X-Rays

Wednesday, April 4, 2018 @ 7:00 PM-8:30 PM


Saint Louis Zoo Anheuser-Busch Theater, The Living World
1 Government Drive, St. Louis, MO 63110
(Zoo North Entrance and North Parking Lot ONLY– Click Venue Below for Directions)

Free and OPEN to ALL. Junior Academy members and middle and high school students are welcome and encouraged to attend. Reservations not required. Parking is free in the Zoo North lot or on the street in Forest Park.

Learn about innovation and discovery in nuclear science today, its role and impacts on health and society, and applications for the future. Science and engineering experts from Missouri University of Science & Technology cover hybrid energy systems involving Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), the exciting applications of plasma physics, the safety record of U.S. fission plants, nuclear waste disposal and management, an economics perspective on nuclear power generation, and medical applications of nuclear research. This experts panel is ready to answer your questions on all things nuclear.

Nuclear Science Panel 595Topics and Missouri S&T Featured Panelists

Nuclear Waste Management
Ayodeji B. Alajo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Nuclear Engineering, Missouri S&T

Managing nuclear waste is a cardinal component of the nuclear fuel cycle, and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) provides a framework for its management. Nuclear engineer Ayodeji Alajo discusses physical and technological approaches in accordance with the NWPA for safeguarding nuclear materials and assuring public safety.

Harnessing Plasma for Medical, Transportation, Computational, and Energy Needs
Monica Gehrig, graduate student and GANN Fellow, Department of Nuclear Engineering, Missouri S&T

Loosely defined as a quasi-neutral gas of both charged and neutral particles, plasma is often seen as a “4th state of matter.” Plasmas affect our lives in a variety of natural ways; auroras (Northern and Southern Lights) paint the polar skies, lightning defines the thunderstorm, fire can bring warmth and destruction, and the dense plasma of the sun provides sustenance for life on Earth. Today’s technology is able to harness this powerful phenomenon to support humanity’s medical, transportation, computational, and energy needs.

Economics and the Future of Electricity Generation in the U.S. and Abroad
Gregory Gelles, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Economics, Missouri S&T

The vast majority of nuclear power plants in the United States came online prior to the mid-1990s and the average age of existing U.S. plants is approaching 40 years. Recent nuclear plant construction has run into significant cost overruns including the abandonment by utility companies of two unfinished nuclear reactors in South Carolina. Economist Gregory Gelles examines the future of nuclear power generation in the United States from an economics perspective.

Introduction to Nuclear Tech & Reactor Safety
Joshua Schlegel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Nuclear Engineering, Missouri S&T

Dr. Schlegel studies nuclear reactor safety system performance.  He discusses the safety record of current nuclear technology and recent developments in reactor safety technologies.

Nuclear Hybrid Energy for Future Needs
Joseph D. Smith, Ph.D., Laufer Endowed Energy Chair and Director, Energy Research and Development Center, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Missouri S&T

Next generation hybridized energy systems are resilient and expand economic activity while reducing our impact on Earth’s climate. Resilient hybrid energy technology integrates fossil, nuclear, wind/solar, and biomass.  Dr. Smith talks about his work to meet the grand challenge to enhance peace and prosperity with hybridized energy systems that provide secure sustainable clean energy to meet the world’s expanding demand.

Radiation Protection: Internal Dosimetry—Calculating and Estimating Health Risk
Shoaib Usman, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Mining and Nuclear Engineering, Missouri S&T

Radiation is known to cause damage to living organisms and mammalians in particular.  A new field has evolved to model and estimate potential health risks to radiation workers and the general public.  Nuclear engineer and health physicist Shoaib Usman provides an overview of these methodologies as implemented by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Nuclear Science: From Energy to X-Rays is a Science Seminar Series presentation of The Academy of Science – St. Louis and the Saint Louis Zoo:
AOS logo_horizontal_2color(1) Zoo logo


Wednesday, April 4, 2018
7:00 PM-8:30 PM
Event Category:


Saint Louis Zoo
1 Government Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110 United States
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