Alexandra (Sasha) Kennedy
Sasha joined the SALT group Fall 2020. After receiving her B.S in Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University, Sasha’s research at Berkeley focuses on actinide identification and quantification through spectroscopical and elemental analysis techniques of molten salts for nonproliferation and safeguard purposes. Outside of research Sasha enjoys playing tennis, running, climbing, music (specifically singing opera), and baking.
Sasha works on two projects in the SALT group. Her first project is elemental analysis. The aim of this work is to demonstrate a quantification method for actinide and actinide complexes in fluoride and chloride salts and the elemental composition of the salts are demonstrated first by acid digestion followed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Future analysis techniques such as ICP-MS are of interest to her elemental analysis project. Sasha’s second project is to develop a method to measure the actinide composition of molten salts optically in situ using different optical spectroscopic techniques such as UV-Vis and Raman Spectroscopy. Her projects are all in collaboration with the NSSC and Los Alamos National Lab (LANL).
NSSC-LANL Dr. G. Robert Keepin Nuclear Nonproliferation Science Summer Program 2022
During Summer 2022, Sasha participated in the Robert Keepin Nonproliferation Science Summer Program at LANL. During this 8 week long program, Sasha transferred her research skills developed at Berkeley to work under her LANL laboratory mentor, Dr. Marisa Monreal, and Dr. Karla Erickson studying the analysis and quantification of different compounds in chloride salts using Raman Spectroscopy and UV-Vis for nonproliferation purposes. In addition to her research, Sasha participated in lectures learning about the different research happening at LANL in regards to nonproliferation and was able to tour state of the art facilities at both LANL and Sandia National Laboratory.
Rob Atienza (UC Berkeley Nuclear Engineering ’23) – Elemental analysis of salt
Heming Yang (UC Berkeley Data Science ’23) – Data Analysis of ICP-OES/MS results for elemental analysis
2021-present NSSC Fellow
CONFERENCE TALKS AND POSTERS
- ACS Fall 2022 Molten Salt Symposium Oral Presentation: “Quantification of molten salt composition for molten salt advanced nuclear reactors” A. Kennedy, S. Mastromarino, R, Scarlat (2022)
- LANL Summer Student Oral Presentation: “Analysis and quantification of molten chloride salt components for nonproliferation and accountability purposes” A. Kennedy, K. Erickson, M. Monreal (2022)
- Physical poster at NSSC University Program Review: “Quantification of molten salt composition for molten salt reactors using elemental analysis and optical spectroscopy” A. Kennedy, S. Mastromarino, M. Monreal, R. Scarlat (2022)
- Virtual poster at NSSC3 Kickoff meeting: “Quantification of molten salt composition for molten salt reactors using elemental analysis and optical spectroscopy” A. Kennedy, S. Mastromarino, M. Monreal, R. Scarlat (2022)