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).
With the help of a diagnostic tool called the Salish Sea Model, researchers found that toxic contaminant hotspots in the Puget Sound are tied to localized lack of water circulation and cumulative effects from multiple sources.
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 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.
For the first time, researchers have created a gram of yellowcake — a powdered form of uranium used to produce fuel for nuclear power production — using modified acrylic fibers to extract it from seawater.