Krishnakumar Nangeelil and Zaijing Sun (both Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) recently gave oral presentations at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society(HPS AM 2023) in National Harbor, Maryland. Nangeelil’s talk is titled “Comparison of GEANT 4 Simulation and Experimental Measurements of CosmicGuard Background Reduction System,” and Sun’s talk is titled “Developing a Remote Gamma Spectra Collection System for Nuclear Sciences.” Sun also served as the session chair in the instrument session of the conference.
Zaijing Sun (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) was interviewed by Insider.com again and talked about the DIY underground bunker in the event of nuclear war. His discussion was published in the science section of Insider.com and titled: “How to build a cheap DIY underground bunker to protect you from nuclear fallout“.
Dr. Zaijing Sun (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) recently gave a seminar titled “Developing a Remote Gamma Spectra Collection System (RGSCS) for Online Teaching in Radiation Sciences” at East Carolina State University. The project he discussed serves as a platform, especially for minority students, for studying software design, data acquisition, instrumental control, and prototype testing in real-time scenarios of radiation detection. It improves educational and research endeavors online, diminishes the needs of laboratory personnel, and significantly reduces the cost of education.
Zaijing Sun (Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) was recently interviewed by insider.com and talked about the impact of nuclear fallout. His discussion was published in the science section of Insider.com and titled: “Most surprising facts about the radioactive particles that poison the air after a nuclear bomb detonates.”
Christina Jiang successfully defended her thesis entitled “Applying Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) to Acess Air Pollution with Spanish Moss (Tillandsia Usneoides) as a Bioindicator in the Low Country of The Savannah River Basin” on March 16th, 2023.
In this study, samples of Spanish moss were collected from the Savannah River Basin area. After the samples were irradiated with reactors, radioisotopes were measured by High Purity Germanium detectors, and gamma spectra were collected using Canberra’s Genie 2000 software. The experimental results indicate that: (1) Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis can accurately determine the heavy elements in Spanish moss; (2) The concentrations of heavy metals in the samples of Spanish moss have clear correlations with local sources of air pollution in the region of the Savannah River Basin which proves that Spanish moss can serve as an effective bioindicator of air pollution.
The committee includes Dr. Zaijing Sun (chair), Dr. Steen Madsen, Dr. Carson Riland, and Dr. Alexander Barzilov.
Christina will start her new job as a research scientist at the Remote Sensing Laboratory of the Nevada National Security Site next week. Congratulations to Christina!
Krishnakumar Nangeelil, Peter Dimpfl, Zaijing Sun (all Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences), Shichun Huang (Currently faculty at UTK, a former member of the Department of Geosciences at UNLV), and Mayir Mamtimin (Halliburton) published an article entitled “Preliminary Study on Forgery Identification of Hetian Jade with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis” in Applied Radiation and Isotopes. The study indicates that INAA can be applied qualitatively to identify similarities and differences in the elemental composition and quickly distinguish the counterfeit from the genuine Hetian jade. Peter Dimpfl is a recent master graduate in Medical Physics.
Zaijing Sun and Krishnakumar Nangeelil (both Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) recently gave oral presentations at the 26th International Conference on the Application of Accelerators in Research and Industry in Denton, Texas. Sun’s talk is titled, “Developing a Remote Gamma Spectra Collection System for Radiation Sciences at UNLV,” and Nangeelil’s talk is titled, “Determination of heavy elements in water and sediment along the Savannah river using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis.”
Krishnakumar Nangeelil, Christina Hall, and Zaijing Sun (all Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) and their collaborator, Wesley Frey at the McClellan Nuclear Research Center of the University of California Davis, published an article titled, “Biomarker response of Spanish moss to heavy metal air pollution in the low country of the Savannah River basin,” in the Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry.
The neutron activation of this study was done at the UC Davis reactor, the most powerful TRIGA reactor in universities. The results indicate that Spanish moss is an ideal biomarker for air quality monitoring, and there is a significant enhancement of heavy metal concentrations for Spanish moss living in high-traffic zones. Nangeelil is a postdoctoral scholar in the School of Integrated Health Sciences, and Hall is a graduate student majoring in environmental health physics.
Krishnakumar Nangeelil and Zaijing Sun (both Health Physics and Diagnostic Sciences) and their collaborators, Cai Qingseng and Scott Lassell of the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the North Carolina State University, published an article titled “Investigation of Heavy Metals in Cottonseeds with Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA)” in the Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry. The study was conducted by neutron activation with the PULSTAR reactor. The results indicate that cottonseeds from several counties of South Carolina exhibited a consistent and similar elemental absorption pattern for heavy elements, and Zn, Co, Rb are the most abundant heavy metal pollutants identified in cottonseeds produced near the superfund sites listed by EPA.
Christina Hall successfully defended her thesis proposal entitled “Assessing Air Pollution Using Spanish Moss as a Bioindicator in the Low Country of Savannah River Basin“ on July 14, 2022. She proposed to study the pollutants in Spanish Moss with the Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis. The committee includes Dr. Zaijing Sun (chair), Dr. Steen Madsen, Dr. Carson Riland, and Dr. Alexander Barzilov.