Materials Scientist
Materials Characterization
Materials Scientist
Materials Characterization


Edgar C Buck has been staff scientist V in the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory at PNNL since 2005. He manages several projects within PNNL’s Nuclear Processing Science Initiative to develop new advanced microscopy tools. He has been the program manager for a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Nuclear Energy project, supporting research for geologic disposal since 2009 and is principal investigator for a Counter-Weapons of Mass Destruction project on signature development, as well as several other smaller projects.

He has 70 publications and co-authored "Uranium," the third chapter for the 3rd edition of the Chemistry of the Actinide and Transactinide Elements. He has held other scientific leadership roles over time, including Actinide Migration and the Waste Form Corrosion projects.

Buck is knowledgeable in the interaction of electron beams with matter, electron and X-ray instrumentation, and materials science with an emphasis on radioactive materials. He has expertise in the long-term behavior of nuclear materials; including, spent nuclear fuels, borosilicate glass, radio-colloids, and post-irradiation examination of reactor components.

He was part of a team that was awarded the DOE Secretary of Energy Honor Award for work conducted on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant accident in 2014, and was the lead author on the Waste Form and In-drift Colloids-Associated Radionuclide Concentrations: Abstraction and Summary, MDL-EBS-PA-000004 for the Yucca Mountain Repository License Application.

He has taught a graduate level course in electron microscopy at Washington State University (WSU) Tri-Cities and is currently adjunct professor at WSU.

Research Interest

  • Applied Polarized Light Microscopy and Particle Isolation and Manipulation courses from the McCrone Research Institute 
  • Ultramicrotomy of radioactive materials soils and sediments, and embedding methods, resins, and small particle work
  • DigitalMicrograph scripting, image analysis (MAMA), ChemEQL, and CrystalMaker/SingleCrystal software programs
  • Java programming with NetBeans
  • Worked within the Nuclear Quality Assurance Program (QA Level 1) for >15 years.


  • PhD in Materials Science, University of Birmingham
  • MSc in Radiochemistry and Radiation Chemistry, University of Salford

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Invited speaker: SLAC X-ray Users Meeting, Stanford, California, September 2019; AVS Meeting, Long Beach, California, October 2018; Plutonium Futures 2016, Baden-Baden, Germany; Migration 2015, Santa Fe, New Mexico; AVS Meeting, Nashville, Tennessee, November 2016.
  • Principal Investigator for the DOE uranium in soils characterization project at Fernald and Portsmouth and vapor hydration glass corrosion projects.

Awards and Recognitions

  • DOE Secretary of Energy Honor Award, WIPP Accident Investigation, 2015
  • Performance Awards: Expansion of Electro-optical Capabilities at PNNL, Work on Yucca Mountain Regulatory Integration Team, and Waste Treatment Plant External Flow-sheet and Review Team M1
  • Process Science and Engineering, PNNL, DARPA Nuclear Fuel Cell Battery


  • Mausolf EJ, JM Schwantes, and EC Buck. 2015. “Nuclear Fuel Compositions and Methods of Manufacturing Nuclear Fuel Compositions. US Provisional Patent App. No. 61/895,313; No. BA4-0546; Battelle Ref. 30425-E.



Reilly DD, CL Beck, EC Buck, JB Cliff, AM Duffin, TG Lach, M Liezers, KWE Springer, SJ Tedrow, MM Zimmer. 2020.”Focused ion beam for improved spatially-resolved mass spectrometry and analysis of radioactive materials for uranium isotopic analysis.” Talanta 120720.

Clark RA, MA Conroy, TG Lach, EC Buck, KL Pellegrini, BK McNamara, JM Schwantes. 2020. “Distribution of metallic fission-product particles in the cladding liner of spent nuclear fuel.” npj Materials Degradation 4 (1), 1-9

Schwantes JM, JL Bair, EC Buck, R Devanathan, SH Kessler, TG Lach, JM Longergan, BK McNamara, CJ Palmer, RA Clark. 2020. “A new non-diffusional gas bubble production route in used nuclear fuel: implications for fission gas release, cladding corrosion, and next generation fuel design.” Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics.


Chatterjee S, MS Fujimoto, NL Canfield, MR Elmore, DW Olson, EC Buck. 2019.An electrochemical technique for controlled dissolution of zirconium based components of light water reactors.” RSC advances 9 (4), 1869-1881.

Lach TG, DJ Edwards, EC Buck, BK McNamara, JM Schwantes, RA Clark. 2019. “Fission recoil-induced microstructural evolution of the fuel-cladding interface [FCI] in high burnup BWR fuel.” Journal of Nuclear Materials. 521, 120-125.

KL Pellegrini, CZ Soderquist, SD Shen, EJ Krogstad, CJ Palmer, K Gerez. 2019. “Chemical and Isotopic Characterization of Noble Metal Phase from Commercial UO2 Fuel.” Analytical Chemistry.

Spurgeon SR, M Sassi, C Ophus, JE Stubbs, ES Ilton, EC Buck. 2019. “Nanoscale oxygen defect gradients in UO2+ x surfaces.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116 (35), 17181-17186.

Yu XY, E Buck. 2019. “Capturing Chemical Dynamics at the Buried Electrode-Electrolyte Interface by In Situ Imaging Mass Spectrometry.” Transactions 121 (1), 709-711.

Liu L, ML Sushko, EC Buck, X Zhang, L Kovarik, Z Shen, J Tao, E Nakouzi, J Liu, JJ De Yoreo. 2019. “Revisiting the Growth Mechanism of Hierarchical Semiconductor Nanostructures: The Role of Secondary Nucleation in Branch Formation.” The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 10 (21), 6827-6834.


Soltis JA, WC Isley, M Conroy, SM Kathmann, EC Buck, GJ Lumetta. 2018. “In situ microscopy across scales for the characterization of crystal growth mechanisms: the case of europium oxalate.” CrystEngComm 20 (20), 2822-2833.

Buck EC, RS Wittman, CZ Soderquist, BK McNamara. 2018. “Monitoring bromide effect on radiolytic yields using in situ observations of uranyl oxide precipitation in the electron microscope.” RSC Advances 8 (33), 18227-18233.

Asmussen RM, CI Pearce, BW Miller, AR Lawter, JJ Neeway, WW Lukens, ME Bowden, MA Miller, EC Buck, RJ Serne, NP Qafoku. 2018. “Getters for improved technetium containment in cementitious waste forms.” Journal of Hazardous Materials, 341: 238-247.

Chatterjee S, MA Conroy, FN Smith, HJ Jung, Z Wang, RA Peterson, ES Ilton, EC Buck. 2018. “Can Cr (III) substitute for Al (III) in the structure of boehmite?RSC Advances, 6(109): 107628-107637.

Peterson RA, EC Buck, J Chun, RC Daniel, DL Herting, ES Ilton. 2018. “Review of the scientific understanding of radioactive waste at the US DOE Hanford Site.” Environmental Science & Technology, 52(2): 381-396. (ISI Highly Cited Paper (34))

Casella AM, DE Burkes, PJ MacFarlan, EC Buck. 2018.Determination of the degree of grain refinement in irradiated U-Mo fuels.” Heliyon 4 (12), e00920.


Balooch M, DR Olander, KA Terrani, P Hosemann, AM Casella, DJ Senor, EC Buck. 2017. “Performance evaluation and post-irradiation examination of a novel LWR fuel composed of U0.17ZrH1.6 fuel pellets bonded to Zircaloy-2 cladding by lead bismuth.” Journal of Nuclear Materials, 486: 391-401.

Conroy M, JA Soltis, RS Wittman, FN Smith, S Chatterjee, X Zhang, ES Ilton, EC Buck. 2017. “Importance of interlayer H bonding structure to the stability of layered minerals.” Scientific Reports 7 (1), 13274.

Casella AM, DE Burkes, PJ MacFarlan, EC Buck. 2017. “Characterization of fission gas bubbles in irradiated U-10Mo fuel.” Materials Characterization 131: 459-471.

Wang G, W Um, KJ Cantrell, MMV Snyder, ME Bowden, MB Triplett, EC Buck. 2017. “Effects of hydrated lime on radionuclides stabilization of Hanford tank residual waste.” Chemosphere, 185: 171-177.


Buck EC, EJ Mausolf, BK McNamara, CZ Soderquist, JM Schwantes. 2016. “Sequestration of radioactive iodine in silver-palladium phases in commercial spent nuclear fuel.” Journal of Nuclear Materials 482: 229-23.

Ward JD, M Bowden, CT Resch, S Smith, BK McNamara, EC Buck. 2016. “Identification of Uranyl Minerals Using Oxygen KEdge XRay Absorption Spectroscopy.” Geostandards and Geoanalytical Research, 40(1): 135-148.

Ma H, H Wang, PC Burns, BK McNamara, EC Buck, C Na. 2016. “Synthesis and preservation of graphene-supported uranium dioxide nanocrystals.” Journal of Nuclear Materials, 475: 113-122.

Buck EC, JS McCloy, MJ Schweiger, AA Kruger. 2016.Formation of Technetium Salts in Hanford LowActivity Waste Glass, C.Z. Soderquist.” Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 99 (12): 3924-3931.


Johnson TJ, LE Sweet, DE Meier, EJ. Mausolf, E Kim, PF Weck, EC Buck. 2015. “Time-resolved infrared reflectance studies of the dehydration-induced transformation of uranyl nitrate hexahydrate to the trihydrate form.” The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 119 (39), 9996-10006.

Weck PF, E Kim, EC Buck. 2015. “On the mechanical stability of uranyl peroxide hydrates: implications for nuclear fuel degradation.” RSC Advances, 5(96): 79090-79097.

Buck EC, EJ Mausolf, BK McNamara, CZ Soderquist, JM Schwantes. 2015. “Nanostructure of Metallic Particles in Light Water Reactor Used Nuclear Fuel.” Journal of Nuclear Materials, 461: 236-243.

Burkes DE , AM Casella, AJ Casella, EC Buck, KN Pool, PJ MacFarlan. 2015. “Thermal properties of U–Mo alloys irradiated to moderate burnup and power.” Journal of Nuclear Materials, 464: 331-341.

Felmy AR, DA Moore, KM Rosso, O Qafoku, D Rai, EC Buck, ES Ilton. 2015. “Heterogeneous Reduction of PuO2 with Fe(II): Importance of the Fe(III) Reaction Product.” Environmental Science & Technology, 45: 3952-3958.

Wilson DL, JE Marra, NJ Bridges, DT Hobbs, CH Hunter, BJ Viner, SR Walter, JE Young, BR Hart, CJ Koester, A Alcaraz, PM Grant, PF Pagoria, M Sutton, ML Baker, PF Britt, BH Davison, J Giaquinto, B Ticknor, J Schwantes, MJ Minette, DA Atkinson, RD Scheele, E Buck, CG Fraga, LR Greenwood, JE Krogstad, BK McNamara. 2015. Waste Isolation Pilot Plat Technical Assessment Team Report, Savannah River National Laboratory Report, SRNL-RP-2014-01198.


McNamara BK, EC Buck, CZ Soderquist, FN Smith, EJ Mausolf, RD Scheele. 2014. “Separation of metallic residues from the dissolution of a high-burnup BWR fuel using nitrogen trifluoride.” Journal of Fluorine Chemistry, 162: 1-8.

Cantrell KJ, W Um, BD Williams, ME Bowden, B Gartman, WW Lukens, EC Buck, E Mausolf. 2014. “Chemical stabilization of Hanford tank residual waste.” J., Journal of Nuclear Materials, 446: 246-256.

Buck EC, DA Moore, KR Czerwinski, SD Conradson, ON Batuk, AR Felmy. 2014. “Nature of nano-sized plutonium particles in soils at the Hanford site.” Radiochimica Acta 102: 1059-1068.

Felmy AR, DA Moore, SD Conradson, EC Buck KM Rosso, ES Ilton. 2014. “The solubility of 242PuO2 in the presence of aqueous Fe(II): The impact of precipitate preparation.” Radiochimica Acta, 102: 861-874.

Wittman RS, EC Buck, EJ Mausolf, BK McNamara, FN Smith, CZ. Soderquist. 2014. “Conditions for critical effects in the mass action kinetics equations for water radiolysis.” The Journal of Physical Chemistry A118: 12105-12110.

Buck EC, RS Wittman. 2014. “Radiolysis Model Formulation for Integration with the Mixed Potential Model”. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Report, PNNL-23459, Richland, Washington.


Mausolf E, E Johnstone, F Poineau, S Nguyen, S Jones, T Hartmann, E Buck, K Czerwinski. 2013. “Formation of Tc metal in 12 M HCl using Zn as a reductant.” J Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry, 298: 1315 -1321.

Cantrell KJ, KC Carroll, EC Buck, D Neiner, KN Geiszler. 2013. “Single-pass flow-through test elucidation of weathering behavior and evaluation of contaminant release models for Hanford tank residual radioactive waste.” Applied Geochemistry, 28: 119-127.

Buck EC, JL Jerden WL Ebert, RS Wittman. 2013. “Coupling the Mixed Potential and Radiolysis Models for Used Fuel Degradation.” Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Report, PNNL-22701, Richland, Washington.


Felmy AR, DA Moore, CI Pearce, SD Conradson, O Qafoku, EC Buck, KM Rosso, ES Ilton. 2012. “Controls on soluble Pu concentrations in PuO2/magnetite suspensions.” Environmental Science & Technology, 46: 11610-11617.


Plymale AE, VL Bailey,D Rai, JK Fredrickson, SM Heald, EC Buck, L Shi, Z Zheming Wang, H Bolton. 2011. “Biotic and Abiotic Reduction and Solubilization of Pu(IV)O2•xH2O(am).” Environmental Science & Technology 46, 2132-2140.

Um W, HS Chang, JP Icenhower, RJ Serne, N Qafoku, JH Westsik, EC Buck, RK Kukkadapu, SC Smith, WW Lukens, CJ Dodge. 2011. “Immobilization of 99Tc by Fe(II)- Goethite and Limited Reoxidation.” Environmental Science & Technology, 45: 4904-4913.

Wells BE, DE Kurath, LA Mahoney, Y Onishi, JL Huckaby, SK Cooley, CA Burns, EC Buck, JM Tingey, RC Daniel, KK Anderson. 2011. “Hanford Waste Physical and Rheological Properties: Data and Gaps.” Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Report. PNNL-20646, Richland, Washington.

Dohnalkova A, MJ Marshall, BW Arey, KH Williams, EC Buck, JK Fredrickson. 2011. “Imaging Hydrated Microbial Extracellular Polymers: Comparative Analysis by Electron Microscopy.” Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 7: 1254-1262.


Buck EC, M Douglas, RC Wittman. 2010. “Verifying the presence of low levels of neptunium in a uranium matrix with electron energy-loss spectroscopy.” Micron, 41: 65-70.

Caciuffo R, EC Buck, DL Clark, G van der Laan. 2010. “Spectroscopic characterization of actinide materials.” MRS Bulletin, 35: 889-895.

Ilton ES, J-F Boily, EC Buck, F Skomurski, K Rosso, C Cahill, J Bargar, A Felmy. 2010. “Influence of Dynamical Conditions on the Reduction of U(VI) at the Magnetite-Solution Interface.” Environmental Science & Technology, 44: 170–176.

Buck, EC. 2010. “Technetium Waste Form Development Progress Report.” Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Report, PNNL-19195, Richland, Washington.


Lumetta GJ, BK McNamara, EC Buck, SK Fiskum, LA Snow. 2009. “Characterization of High Phosphate Radioactive Tank Waste and Simulant Development.” Environmental Science & Technology, 43: 7843–7848.


Strachan DM, RD Scheele, EC Buck, AE Kozelisky, RL Sell, RJ Elovich, and WC Buchmiller. 2008. “Radiation Damage effects in Candidate Titanates for Pu Disposition: Zirconolite.” Journal of Nuclear Materials, 372: 16-31.


Peterson RB, BK Paul, T Palmer, Q Wu, W Jost, CHT Tseng, S Tiwari, G Patello, EC Buck, JD Holladay, R Shimskey, P Humble, P MacFarlan, J Wainright. 2007.Radiolytic microscale power generation based on single chamber fuel cell operation.” J., Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 17: S250-S256.


Grenthe I, EC Buck, J Drozdynski, T Fujino, T Albrecht-Schmitt, SF Wolf. 2006.Uranium in The Chemistry of the Actinide and Transactinide Elements, 3RD Edition. Kluwer Publishing.

Kim C-W, DJ Wronkiewicz, RJ Finch, EC Buck. 2006. “Incorporation of cerium and neodymium in uranyl phases.” Journal of Nuclear Materials. 353: 147-15.

Wang Z, AR Felmy, Y Xia, EC Buck. 2006. “Observation of aqueous Cm(III)/Eu(III) and UO22+ nanoparticles at concentrations approaching solubility limit by lase-induced fluorescence spectroscopy.” Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 418: 166-170.


Douglas M, JI Friese, SB Clark, EC Buck, BD Hanson, S Utsunomiya, RC Ewing. 2005. “Microscale characterization of uranium(VI) silicate solids and associated neptunium(V). Radiochimica Acta, 93: 265-272.

Douglas M, SB Clark, JI Friese, BW Arey, EC Buck, BD Hanson. 2005. “Neptunium(V) partitioning to uranium(VI) oxide and peroxide solids. Environmental Science & Technology, 39: 4117-4124.

Hanson B, B McNamara, EC Buck, J Friese, E Jenson, K Krupka, B Arey. 2005. “Corrosion of commercial spent nuclear fuel. 1. Formation of studtite and metastudtite”. Radiochimica Acta, 93: 159-168.

McNamara B, B Hanson, E Buck, C Soderquist. 2005. “Corrosion of commercial spent nuclear fuel. 2. Radiochemical analyses of metastudtite and leachates.” Radiochimica Acta, 93: 169-175.

Colella M, Lumpkin GR, Zhang Z, Buck EC, Smith KL. 2005. “Determination of the uranium valence state in the brannerite structure using EELS, XPS, and EDX.” Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, 32: 52-64.

Strachan DM, RD Scheele, EC Buck, JP Icenhower, AE Kozelisky, RL Sell, RJ Elovich, and WC. Buchmiller. 2005. “Radiation Damage effects in Candidate Titanates for Pu Disposition: Pyrochlore.” J Journal of Nuclear Materials, 345: 109-135.

Li H, M Qian, EC Buck, DM Strachan. 2005. Reply to “Comment on ‘Extended electron energy loss fine structure simulation of the local boron environment in sodium aluminoborosilicate glasses containing gadolinium’ by M. Qian, H. Li, L. Li and D.M. Strachan [J. Non-Cryst. Solids 328 (2003) 90] Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 351: 186-188.


Buck EC, BK McNamara, BD Hanson. 2004. “Geochemical behaviour of Tc, Np, and Pu spent nuclear fuel under oxidizing conditions”. in Energy, Waste, and the Environment - A Geochemical Perspective. (eds) R. Giere & P. Stille Geological Society, London, Special Publication, 236, 65-88. (Book Chapter).

Buck EC, Finn PA, Bates JK. 2004.“Electron energy-loss spectroscopy of anomalous plutonium behavior in nuclear waste materials.” Micron, 34/35: 235-243.

Buck EC, BK McNamara. 2004. “Precipitation of Nitrate-Cancrinite in Hanford Tank Sludge.” Environmental Science & Technology 38: 4432-4438.


Zhang HF, CM Wang, EC Buck and LS Wang. “Synthesis, characterization and manipulation of helical SiO2 nanosprings.” 2003. Nano Letters, 3: 577-580.

McNamara B, EC Buck, B Hanson. 2003. “Observation of studtite and metastudtite on spent fuel.” Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 757, 401-406 (2003). Times Cited: 62.


Zhang HF, AC Dohnalkova, CM Wang, JS Young, EC Buck, LS Wang. 2002. “Lithium-Assisted Self-Assembly of Aluminum Carbide Nanowires and Nanoribbons.” Nano Letters, 2: 105-108.


Wronkiewicz DJ, EC Buck. 1999. “Uranium mineralogy and the geologic disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Mineralogical Society of America, Special Issue on Uranium Mineralogy, ed. PC Burns and RJ Finch, Reviews in Mineralogy, 38, 475-497, 1999. (Book Chapter)

Finch RJ, EC Buck, PA Fin, JK Bates. 1999. “Oxidative corrosion of spent UO2 fuel in vapor and dripping groundwater at 90°C.” Mater. Res. Soc. Proc. 556, 431-438. Times Cited: 117.

Buck EC, JK Bates. 1999. "Microanalysis of colloids and suspended particles from nuclear waste glass alteration." J., Applied Geochemistry, 14: 635-53.


Buck EC, DJ Wronkiewicz, PA Fin, JK Bates. 1997. “A new uranyl oxide hydrate phase derived from spent fuel alteration. Journal of Nuclear Materials. 249: 70-7.

Fortner JA, EC Buck, AJG Ellison, JK Bates. 1997. “EELS analysis of redox in glasses for plutonium immobilization. Ultramicroscopy, 67: 77-81.  

Wolf SF, Bates JK, Buck EC, Dietz NL, Fortner JA, Brown NR. 1997. “Physical and chemical characterization of actinides in soil from Johnston atoll. Environmental Science & Technology, 31: 467-71.

Buck EC, JA Fortner. 1997. “Detecting low levels of transuranics with electron energy loss spectroscopy.” Ultramicroscopy, 67: 69-75.


Fortner JA, EC Buck. 1996.”The chemistry of the light rare-earth elements as determined by electron energy loss spectroscopy.” Applied Physics Letters, 68(26): 3817-19.

Buck EC, NR Brown, NL Dietz. 1996. “Contaminant uranium phases and leaching at the Fernald site in Ohio.” Environmental Science & Technology, 30: 81-88.

Wronkiewicz DJ, JK Bates, JK Wolf, SF Buck, EC. 1996.”Ten-year results from unsaturated drip tests with UO2 at 90ºC: implications for the corrosion of spent nuclear fuel.” Journal of Nuclear Materials, 238: 78-95. (ISI Highly Cited Paper (245))


Buck EC. 1995. “Effects of Electron Irradiation of Barium Titanate.” Radiation Effects and Defects in Solids, 133: 15-25.

Buck EC, NR Brown, NL Dietz, JK Bates. 1995. “Uranium-contaminated soils: ultramicrotomy and electron beam analysis.” Microscopy Research & Technique 31: 174-81.

Buck EC, NR Brown, NL Dietz, JK Bates. 1995. “Uranium-contaminated soils: ultramicrotomy and electron beam analysis.” Microscopy Research & Technique 31: 174-81.

Buck EC 1995. “Effects of Electron Irradiation of Rutile.” Radiation Effects and Defects in Solids, 133: 15-25.


Finn PA, EC Buck, M Gong, JC Hoh, JW Emery, LD Hafenrichter, JK Bates. 1994. “Colloidal products and actinide species in leachate from spent nuclear fuel.” Radiochimica Acta, 66/67: 189-95.

Feng X, EC Buck, C, Mertz, JK Bates, JC Cunnane, DJ Chaiko. 1994. “Characteristics of the colloids generated during the corrosion of nuclear waste glasses in groundwater. Radiochimica Acta, 66/67: 197-205.


Feng X, JK Bates, EC Buck, CR Bradley, M Gong. 1993. "Long-term comparison of dissolution behavior between fully radioactive and simulated nuclear glasses." Nuclear Technology 104: 193-206."