Cerberus Nuclear joins University of Birmingham Nuclear Masters Steering Committee

Cerberus Nuclear are excited to join the steering committee for the Physics and Technology of Nuclear Reactors (PTNR) MSc and Nuclear Decommissioning and Waste Management (NDAWM) MSc at the University of Birmingham. The department was the home of the first nuclear reactor in Britain and has been running the PTNR MSc since 1956. The university more recently added the NDAWM MSc, and continually updates the degrees to reflect the increasing sophistication of the field and the requirements of the industry.

A steering committee meeting was held yesterday (19th June), and Katrina Christaki and Daniel Rutland were delighted to take part! The meeting was attended by a number of industry leaders. The purpose of the steering committee was to discuss key issues, including the course content, opportunities for students, and the continual need from across the nuclear industry for skills taught on both courses, such as criticality and shielding.

Cerberus Nuclear has enjoyed a successful relationship with the university, taking on students for summer placements and in graduate roles in previous years. We look forward to becoming more involved with the courses as part of the steering committee.

We would like to thank Paul Norman for inviting us to be involved in the steering committee, and for organising an interesting and thought provoking day!

TSF & WPC: Cerberus Nuclear Presents at Specialist Forums

Cerberus Nuclear was honoured to participate once again in The Shielding Forum (TSF) and Working Party on Criticality (WPC) meetings at the ANSWERS Seminar in Bournemouth. Over the course of three days, professionals from across the nuclear sector gathered to exchange ideas and present work on crucial topics in radiation shielding and criticality safety.

At TSF, John Billingsley presented recent development work undertaken into the precise and accurate modelling of criticality sources for a variety of applications, highlighting Cerberus Nuclear’s commitment to continuous improvement and knowledge sharing within the industry. This work also showcased Cerberus Nuclear’s new state-of-the-art Monte Carlo transport code – Tempest, by benchmarking results against multiple nuclear codes commonly used across industry.

Additionally, Daniel Cork had the opportunity to present further developments of Cyclone, developed by Orthrus Software. He introduced an AI assistant called Cyclone Sage designed to assist users in the creation of MCNP input files – a potentially ground breaking application in the field of radiation shielding and criticality.

At the WPC meeting, there were interesting group discussions on some of the key issues and potential solutions facing UK criticality today, as well as updates on subgroup developments and future possibilities and changes in the industry. The team from Cerberus Nuclear were active participants in the meeting, with Stewart Hay presenting on the changes to criticality dose assumptions, and Toby Tyas giving an update on subgroup activities. Katrina Christaki also continued her key role as the WPC secretary. We would like to thank the new WPC Chair Liam Payne for ensuring a thought provoking and productive event. 

Members of the Cerberus Nuclear criticality team also attended the Early Careers Criticality Safety Network (ECSN) speed mentoring event after the WPC meeting, as both mentors and mentees. This offered an invaluable chance for some 1-on-1 discussions about criticality safety with a range of experts in the field, as well as a chance to network and get to know members from other organisations. We would like to thank the ECSN for organising this event, as well as the members of the WPC who agreed to attend and be mentors. 

Finally, we would like to thank the team at Jacobs for hosting the conference, and we look forward to contributing further in the future.

Cerberus Nuclear attend SRP Conference

Recently, Hannah, Sam and Haleema had the pleasure of attending the 2024 Society for Radiological Protection (SRP) Conference in Eastbourne. It was especially significant as this was Cerberus Nuclear’s first year attending as an SRP Affiliated Organisation.

The conference itself was a hub of knowledge, innovation and learning, with many great presentations, posters and stands. Particular presentation standouts included James Cairns from Aurora Health Physics Services with “Not my CuP of Tea? A radiological insight into the first 48 hours of the Litvinenko Murder Investigation”, and Amjad Khursheed from the ONR with “Importance of Age and Sex in Prospective Analysis of Off-Site Radiological Consequences following an Accident at a UK Nuclear Site”.

Our Shielding Lead Hannah had the important role of judging awards for posters and oral presentations, while Senior Shielding Consultant Sam, delivered a fantastic affiliated organisations presentation about Cerberus Nuclear, and Criticality Consultant Haleema, who is also a member of the SRP Magazine Editorial Team, connected with SRP members and interviewed for an upcoming SRP magazine article.  

We look forward to implementing the knowledge gained and building on the connections made. A massive thank you to the SRP organisers for another fantastic SRP conference and we very much look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Cerberus Nuclear Shielding Assessors attend FLUKA.CERN Course

Our Radiation Shielding Consultants Sam, Zac, and John recently attended the FLUKA.CERN course at INTA, the National Institute for Aerospace Technologies in Madrid.  

Over the course of the week, they developed their knowledge of FLUKA, studying the basic concepts such as geometry and material definitions, as well as sources and scoring to provide a solid understanding of the code. They also studied advanced topics such as neutronics, radioprotection, and activation.  

Zac's Example of the Death Star in FLUKA.

Cerberus Nuclear’s access to the FLUKA code has bolstered our radiation shielding and nuclear characterisation resources. It will allow us to consolidate our capability in a broad range of high energy physics disciplines such as accelerator and beam line design, as well as particle physics, aerospace, and medical applications. 

Cerberus Nuclear would like to thank CERN for hosting the course and INTA for their role in the local organisation of the course. Sam, Zac, and John also had the opportunity to visit various INTA facilities during the course, which we are excited to tell you about over the next few weeks! 

Cerberus Nuclear to Expand Expertise with FLUKA.CERN

Cerberus Nuclear is on a continuous path of improvement, and we are thrilled to announce our participation in the upcoming FLUKA.CERN course at the INTA, the National Institute for Aerospatial Technologies in Madrid, hosted by CERN. Participating in the course is a testament to our commitment to stay at the forefront of advancements in high-energy physics.

Delving into FLUKA: A Comprehensive Tool

FLUKA is a highly regarded high-energy physics Monte Carlo code used for the simulation of high energy particles. The history of FLUKA traces back to the 1960s at CERN, evolving through several iterations to become the robust high energy physics modelling tool it is today. The application range of FLUKA is broad, encompassing areas such as accelerator design, beam line design, particle physics, and medical applications. This versatility underscores FLUKA's use in advancing research in the field of radiation physics.

Cerberus Nuclear's Forward Step with FLUKA

Our radiation shielding team's engagement in the FLUKA.CERN course underscores our dedication to enhancing our capabilities in specialised areas. It’s about more than just acquiring new skills; it’s about enriching our team's knowledge base and fostering a culture of continuous learning.

A Vision for the Future

As we look forward to participating in the course, our team is keen on the prospect of integrating this advanced knowledge into our workflow. We believe that staying up to date with the latest advancements in our field is crucial for our growth and success. As such, we’re eager for our clients and partners to benefit from our knowledge from this course. By enhancing our technical capabilities with this educational endeavour, we are reinforcing our position as a leader in our industry, committed to delivering cutting-edge solutions.

Our Radiation Shielding Consultants Sam, Zac and John will be attending the course next week in Madrid. We invite you to keep a look out for updates to see how they get on!

Zac and Katrina Present PTNR Industrial Lecture

Cerberus Nuclear recently delivered an industrial lecture for the Physics and Technology of Nuclear Reactors masters course at the University of Birmingham. Haleema, Katrina, and Zac prepared the presentation which was then presented to the students by Katrina and Zac.  

The lecture began with an introduction to Cerberus Nuclear including our specialisms in radiation shielding, criticality safety, and nuclear characterisation. 

Katrina took a deeper look into criticality safety, highlighting a day in the life and how criticality safety is used within the nuclear industry, as well as discussing more technical topics such as the factors affecting criticality. The students were very interested in CARTA, a criticality training tool developed by Cerberus Nuclear that utilises VR. 

Zac detailed the company's radiation shielding work, talking about the shielding design process and how Monte Carlo techniques are used for shielding assessments. The shielding verification procedure as well as dynamic visualisation techniques were presented before rounding off the lecture highlighting our nuclear characterisation work and discussing our software developments through Orthrus Software.  

We would like to thank Paul Norman for inviting the team to present again this year!

Cerberus Nuclear Present at NTEC Radiation Shielding Module

Our Shielding Consultants, John Billingsley and Nick Seibt, recently delivered the Shielding Design Process lecture for this year’s NTEC Radiation Shielding module.

The shielding design process is the industry best practice solution to ensure that the a robust shielding design for facilities with radioactive sources. The process is an iterative one, with new information as the design progresses feeding back into key documents to find the most effective shielding design.

The lecture was well received, with students giving positive feedback on the day. Nick completed the course last year while he was studying for his masters, so he was glad to have the opportunity to represent the company at the lecture that introduced him to us! John and Nick both stayed for the afternoon too to help support the students with some practical work.

Thanks go to Professor Andrew Boston and the NTEC course for inviting us back again this year!

Cerberus Nuclear attend ANSWERS Seminar

Cerberus Nuclear recently had the privilege of attending the 57th Meeting of The Shielding Forum and the 103rd Working Party on Criticality (WPC) meeting during the annual ANSWERS seminar held in Bournemouth. Over the course of three days, professionals from the nuclear sector gathered to discuss key topics such as radiation shielding, reactor physics, and nuclear criticality, as well as recent developments and applications of ANSWERS software.

A few members of the Cerberus Nuclear criticality team also had the opportunity to attend the criticality day of the ANSWERS seminar. The forums were a gathering of industry experts from a range of different companies and licenced sites, all sharing an interest of growth and innovation within industry.

We would like to extend a massive thank you to the team at Jacobs for hosting the conference in sunny and beautiful Bournemouth, and the Hilton for its fantastic facilities. The team left feeling excited for the challenges ahead and a renewed sense of motivation for our in-house innovation work. Here’s to many more inspiring conferences and memorable times!

The WPC is a formal sub-group of the Safety Directors Forum, with a focus on criticality safety issues, promoting co-operation nationally and internationally. Cerberus was delighted to attend the semi-annual WPC meeting, which is an invaluable platform to learn from industry experts while gaining insights into the latest advancements. There were engaging group discussions on key issues facing UK criticality and exciting potential solutions. Some members delivered fantastic presentations speaking about new advancements and future possibilities in the criticality sphere.

It was great to see Katrina Christaki in a key role as the WPC secretary, and we look forward to Cerberus Nuclear’s continued active participation in the group and sub-groups. A big thank you to the dedicated WPC Chair Fred Winstanley for ensuring a thought provoking and productive event.

The Shielding Forum plays a major role in the event schedule, aiming to promote industry good practice and provide authoritative advice on all matters related to radiation shielding. As long-time supporters of TSF, Cerberus Nuclear were delighted to participate and benefit from the expertise shared by industry leaders. The presentations covered a wide range of topics, including the shielding design basis, fusion, and technical discussions on the latest analysis codes used in industry.

With continued support, TSF promotes the training and development of radiation shielding practitioners to ensure that the UK is, and continues to be, a centre of excellence for radiation protection. Thank you to Anton Murfin, the chair of TSF, for organising an engaging and informative meeting. We look forward to maintaining our involvement with TSF in the future.

Cerberus Nuclear Sponsor YGN Shielding and Criticality Event

Cerberus Nuclear were recently delighted to be the proud sponsors of the YGN Introduction to Shielding and Criticality Safety Event, organised by the esteemed Nuclear Institute Young Generation Network. The conference brought together a diverse range of delegates from across the nuclear sector to share their insights and expertise on Shielding and Criticality Safety.

The informative seminar was a resounding success, featuring notable speakers from various sectors. In addition, our very own Katrina Christaki, Sam Hilton and John Billingsley had the privilege of delivering captivating talks on the physics of criticality safety, a day in the life of a shielding assessor, and the application of shielding in fusion. As a proud sponsor, we also had the chance to showcase CARTA, our in-house criticality safety training tool, and the many ways it can address the unique challenges facing the nuclear industry.

The event’s comprehensive program was well received by attendees who praised the insightful presentations and dynamic discussions. This conference was especially meaningful as it addressed pressing industry concerns such as skill gaps in critical areas.

Thank you to Frances Yates for organising such an informative event, and we look forward to continued partnerships with the Nuclear Institute YGN and supporting future events that advance knowledge and collaboration in the nuclear sector.

Cerberus Nuclear present to Birmingham's post-graduate nuclear masters courses

Recently, Cerberus Nuclear provided support to the University of Birmingham’s post-graduate nuclear master courses (the Physics of Technology of Nuclear Reactors and Nuclear decommissioning) through a lecture presented by Katrina Christaki, Jacob Westerman, and Zachary Strangwood as part of an industry lecture series. 

During the lecture, the Cerberus team provided an introduction to radiation shielding, Monte Carlo codes and criticality safety assessment in industry, which was supplemented by case studies of their innovative projects in the past 12 months. 

Jacob highlighted dynamic source movement assessment techniques, their usefulness in radiation transport assessment, as well as demonstrating the shielding verification procedure by emphasising the training, equipment and safety measure required to conduct the process.  

Zachary, a recent graduate of the PTNR course, offered industry insight into how to accurately model and setup an example shielding problem by using Monte Carlo techniques. Additionally, Zachary discussed his dissertation project which consisted of modelling various radiation shielding scenarios with a moving source in MCNP. 

Katrina presented an introduction to criticality safety, highlighting the factors affecting criticality and where criticality safety fits into the industry. Furthermore, Katrina presented CARTA, a Cerberus developed criticality training tool that employs machine learning to calculate k-eff in real-time for operator training and provided an opportunity to the students to test the tool with a VR headset. 

The lecture was well-received by the students, providing them with an excellent understanding of the unique and innovative work done by the Cerberus team. 

Additionally, Cerberus plans to supervise similar dissertation projects to the one Zachary completed last year, supporting the University of Birmingham and the NTEC master’s courses. If this is something you may be interest in whether a student of one of these courses or not, please get in touch.