COSIRES 2014 discusses the dangers and applications of radiation and how diseases such as cancer could be fought more effectively
This international conference on radiation effects in solids organised by the University of Alicante gathered together researchers from around the world
Alicante, 18 June 2014
From 8 to 13 June 2014, Alicante hosted COSIRES 2014, the International Conference on simulation of radiation effects in solids, organised by the University of Alicante. A meeting that brought together more than 120 scientists from 23 countries around the world, during which eight invited speakers from the world’s leading groups in the simulation of the effects of radiation, showed their latest scientific advances. Specifically, Professor Jorge Kohanoff, from the University of Belfast in Northern Ireland, explained his research on the simulation of radiation damage in DNA. These studies, pioneers in the field, led to a better understanding of the hazards of radiation to biological systems and to understand how they could fight diseases like cancer more efficiently.
Radiation materials related to nuclear energy applications was one of the central themes of the conference, which featured several guest speakers dealt with different aspects of this problem.
In this regard, researcher Jaime Marian, from US Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, said elements such as helium can change the mechanical properties of these materials. This phenomenon is very important in the development of nuclear power plants based on fusion, the energy from the sun, one of the major challenges in the search for new energy sources. This same issue was also addressed by French researcher Thomas Jourdan, from CEA-Saclay centre, who described the basic processes occurring in irradiated steels..
One of the biggest problems of nuclear fission, plants currently in operation, is securing the storage of generated radioactive materials. This issue was addressed by researcher Chris Stanek, from renowed Los Alamos laboratory in the USA. Also, researcher Jean-Marc Delaye, from CEA Marcoule in France, spoke of the degradation processes that occur in the materials used for the storage of these radioactive waste. Finally, Professor Nigel Marks, from Curtin University in Australia, showed simulations on the damage produced to graphite, which is the material used in many of these plants as a moderator of the fission chain reaction.
Also, irradiation issues in different scopes were addressed. Professor Luis Marqués, from the University of Valladolid, summarised the advances in implementation technology in silicon, technology that has been used since the creation of the first computer chip. In the microelectronics industry, modeling and simulation have always been considered key to the development of new technologies as by understanding the fundamental processes, both cost and production times can be reduced. Professor Kristen Fichthorn, from the University of Pennsylvania in the U.S. presented the latest advances in simulation techniques.
Amongst over 50 oral presentation submitted to COSIRES 2014, the one from Professor Wen-Sheng Lai, from Tsinghua University in China, was selected as the guest lecture. This research showed how nanotechnology can help in the development of materials with a high resistance to radiation.
On the other hand, three prizes were awarded for the best posters presented by doctoral students. The international scientific committee evaluated both the quality and clarity of the posters, as the presentation thereof by the students. The three students awarded with these prizes were Laura Agudo-Mérida, from IMDEA Materials Institute of Madrid, Harriet E. Ahlgren, from the University of Helsinki, and María José Aliaga, from the University of Alicante.
All continents except Antarctica were represented this year in COSIRES, with researchers from Australia, USA, Canada, Argentina, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, and many European countries such as France, UK, Belgium, Finland and Sweden, among others.