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Lab Seeks to Improve the Monitoring of Nuclear Reactors

Narrator: This is Science Today. Inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, may have a new tool in the form of an antineutrino detector, which allows them to unobtrusively peer into a working nuclear reactor. Adam Bernstein, group leader of the Advanced Detector's Group at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory says their detector reached an important milestone of possible utility for the IAEA.

Bernstein: But you can always do better. So, you'd always like to have it a little bit smaller, a little bit easier to operate and that's what we're working on now.

Narrator: Bernstein says it's important to support the IAEA, specifically in the area of reactor monitoring.

Bernstein: There's been this possible area of improvement, which is currently as the reactor operates, there's not very much information that the IAEA has beyond the declarations that are provided by the reactor operator. They don't really have a measurement that let's them know as the reactor's operating, what's going on. So, the distinction of the antineutrino detector is it gives you all of that information in a very non-intrusive way.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.