U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Nuclear Process Science Initiative (NPSI)

Advancing Nuclear Process Science

The Nuclear Process Science Initiative is an internal, Laboratory Directed Research and Development program investment in support of the nuclear science and technology research enterprise at PNNL. This five-year investment is intended to build expertise and capabilities in nuclear materials characterization, chemistry, physics, and engineering, enabling solutions in legacy waste management and nuclear nonproliferation.

Scientific Challenge

Vision:  Understand, harness, and exploit the interfacial phenomena controlling the behavior of materials in post reactor nuclear fuel processing

Goal:  Change the paradigm for nuclear materials processing and enable new signatures

  • Discover new classes of signatures of nuclear materials processing
  • Manipulate complex systems to manage and control chemical processing of nuclear materials
  • Understand interfacial chemistry in harsh, complex environments to:
    • Control reactivity in radiation environments
    • Design interfaces that exploit this reactivity
    • Create self-healing materials and smart sensors
  • Predict interfacial transformations in radiation environments using validated multi-scale modeling
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