U.S. Department of Energy

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory



Groundbreaking research approach enhances discovery

NPSI's Richard Clark and his team have made it possible to study important degradation processes in irradiated uranium oxide (UO2) in a manner that is safer, less complicated and costly, and more versatile, which could lead to important new discoveries.

Initiative sponsors April 20 Navrotsky seminar at PNNL

Internationally-recognized scientist Alexandra Navrotsky of the University of California-Davis presented the seminar, "Lanthanides and Actinides - Why Thermodynamics Matter," at PNNL on April 20. Approximately 50 PNNL staff attended the event, which was sponsored by NPSI.

NPSI organizes ACS symposium

The symposium, "Evolving Nanoparticle Reactivity Throughout Nucleation, Growth and Dissolution," was held April 5 at the 253rd American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition in San Francisco. The symposium was organized by NPSI researchers Michele Conroy, Frannie Smith, and Jennifer Soltis, and R. Lee Penn of the University of Minnesota.

Peterson named AIChE Fellow

Dr. Reid Peterson, who leads the Nuclear Process Science Initiative’s science thrust focused on linking interfacial phenomena to bulk properties, has been elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).


Initiative gains visibility at international meeting

The Energy and Environment Directorate’s Edgar Buck, a project lead for the Nuclear Process Science Initiative, spoke by invitation at “Plutonium Futures - The Science 2016”—a prestigious international gathering held in mid-September in Baden-Baden, Germany.

NPSI researcher earns presentation honor

October 6, 2016. Sean Kessler has received the award for best oral presentation at this year’s PNNL Post Graduate Research Symposium. Sean spoke on the ab-initio alloy thermodynamics of molybdenum- and ruthenium-containing metallic nanoparticles in spent UO2 fuel. The research seeks to resolve lingering discrepancies between existing models and experiments and to provide a useful foundation for future computational efforts.

NPSI's Clark takes part in Lab Day

September 13, 2016. Nuclear Process Science Initiative Lead Sue Clark participated in a panel discussion for Lab Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C. The event focused on environmental management research taking place at national laboratories, and included participation from Energy Secretary Moniz. 

NPSI Lead meets with Energy Secretary, Senator during visit

August 16, 2016. In photo, clockwise from left, NPSI Lead Sue Clark discusses radioactive waste treatment with Sen. Maria Cantwell, Dawn Wellman (PNNL) and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Moniz, joined by Cantwell, toured facilities during his first visit to PNNL as secretary. Clark and Wellman provided updates on PNNL’s progress on DOE Office of Environmental Management programs, and Clark briefed the visitors on NPSI and the new Energy Frontier Research Center led by PNNL...

EFRC win underscores PNNL nuclear capabilities

July 18, 2016. The Department of Energy has selected Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to lead a new Energy Frontier Research Center. The center will apply basic science to better understand radiation impacts on—and aging of—materials and constituents in radioactive waste stored in tanks at DOE sites. 

Scientist-educator talks microscopy in elementary school

Microscopy as a tool for observation holds rich connections with Washington State Science Learning Standards; however, it is not always clear where this tool fits into existing curriculum.

The Mid-Columbia STEM Education Collaboratory works with classroom teachers to develop story-based design challenges related to materials science and microscopy so that this tool might fit more seamlessly into existing classroom activities.


Sue Clark appointed to DOE BESAC

Jan. 4, 2016 - NPSI Initiative Lead Sue Clark has been appointed to serve as a member of the DOE Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (BESAC), providing expert advice in the fields of chemistry, physical biosciences, and geosciences. BESAC gives independent advice to DOE on the complex scientific and technical issues that arise in the planning, management, and implementation of the Basic Energy Sciences program.


Jaehun Chun delivers guest lecture at WSU Tri-Cities

Dec. 28, 2015 - Jaehun Chun delivered a special lecture on waste and melter feed rheology for a course on nuclear waste vitrification at WSU Tri-Cities on Dec. 10, 2015. The lecture covered general concepts of rheology such as shear stress and rheology measurements, mainly related to suspension rheology. A key message was correlations between particle interactions and rheological properties of Newtonian and non-Newtonian suspensions, which is being investigated by an NPSI project.

Frannie Smith featured in NWPR series on Daughters of Hanford

Nov. 4, 2015 - Frannie Smith was recently featured as part of a series and exhibit on the Daughters of Hanford. Frannie is an enviornmental researcher in PNNL's Energy and Environment Division and supports the NPSI.

Edgar Buck featured speaker at Migration 2015

Oct. 27, 2015 - Edgar Buck was a featured speaker at the Sept. 13-18 MIGRATION 2015 Conference. He presented on plutonium behavior at the Hanford Site's Z9 crib, acknowledging the NPSI, based on a paper that was recently published on this topic.

PNNL Researcher Dr. Gregg Lumetta Recognized with Chemical Separations Award

A chemist at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been selected to receive the Glenn T. Seaborg Actinide Separations Award recognizing significant and lasting contributions to separating actinide elements, such as plutonium and uranium. Gregg Lumetta was honored for his contributions which are being used to treat high-level radioactive waste in Hanford waste tanks and for the design and application of new ligands (molecules that bond to metal ions) to bind...

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