At PNNL, subsurface science inhabits two separate but interlocking worlds. One looks at basic science, the other at applied science and engineering. Both are funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
PNNL and Argonne researchers developed and tested a chemical process that successfully captures radioactive byproducts from used nuclear fuel so they could be sent to advanced reactors for destruction while also producing electrical power.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and PNNL partnered to complete—in record time—an environmental impact statement for the nation’s first small modular nuclear reactor, to be sited at Clinch River, Tenn.
It’s hot in there! PNNL researchers take a close, but nonradioactive, look at metal particle formation in a nuclear fuel surrogate material. What they found will help fill knowledge gaps and could lead to better nuclear fuel designs.
Researchers at PNNL are developing a new class of acoustically active nanomaterials designed to improve the high-resolution tracking of exploratory fluids injected into the subsurface. These could improve subsurface geophysical monitoring.
"It's sort of like using infrared goggles to see heat signatures in the dark, except this is underground." PNNL and CHPRC implemented a state-of-the-art approach to monitor the process of remediating residual uranium at Hanford's 300 Area.
Researchers used novel methods to safely create and analyze plutonium samples. The approaches could prove influential in future studies of the radioactive material, benefitting research in legacy, national security and nuclear fuels.