Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cold War's nuclear wastes pose challenges to science, engineering, society

13.10.2011
Seven papers published in the current issue of Technology and Innovation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors ™ report on efforts by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure continued safe and secure storage and disposition of 50 years worth of spent nuclear fuel, surplus nuclear materials, and high-level wastes at DOE facilities.

"Technology, innovation, development and deployment are key elements in the DOE cleanup effort," said Yvette T. Collazo, Paula G. Kirk and A. Alan Moghissi of the DOE's Office of Environmental Management and authors of a lead-in editorial outlining the issues addressed by papers – issues that range from how to prioritize projects to the nuts and bolts of advanced mediation efforts. "The DOE has implemented a new approach and business model to incorporate innovative strategies that build on scientific advancements to reduce the legacy footprint."

During 50-plus years of nuclear weapons production and government-sponsored nuclear energy research and production that generated contaminated soil and groundwater covering two million acres in 35 states, the U.S. government did not have environmental structures, technologies or infrastructure to deal with the legacy.

"Many of the excess facilities awaiting deactivation and decommissioning are one-of-a-kind or unique to the DOE, with unprecedented scope and complexity," said the authors. "In many cases, the necessary technologies are not yet developed or, if developed, they require significant re-engineering to fit DOE needs."

However, as outlined and evaluated by papers published in the current issue of Technology & Innovation, recent DOE efforts have both offered and analyzed remediation technology projects; technical reviews for evaluating system-level modeling and simulation; remedies for subsurface contamination; engineering systems for predicting the fate and transport of wastes; and communication models for the technical communities. The new models also include designs for collaboration between regulators, stakeholders, field offices, contractors, scientists, and technology developers.

For example, a critical review of technology and safe practices in spent nuclear fuel transport and storage found that mid-term storage (up to several decades) is feasible, yet long-term storage (up to 100 years) needs strengthened technology and management practices (Gary R. Peterson, DOE, Office of Environmental Management).

Another paper analyzes the success of polyphosphate remediation for uranium sequestering in areas where uranium groundwater contamination exceeds EPA limits (Dawn W. Wellman, Pacific Northwest National Lab, et al.). An External Technical Review team analyzed software and simulation modeling tools to support the planning for life-cycle liquid waste disposition and found that new tools are needed (John R. Shultz, DOE, Office of Waste Processing, et al.).

A fourth paper describes the development of a state-of-the-art tool and approach for predicting subsurface flow and contaminant transport behavior in complex geological systems (Mark K. Williams, DOE, Office of Environmental Management, et al.). And the DOE's Office of Environmental Management, responsible for the cleanup of the nation's nuclear weapons programs' wastes, created the Advanced Remediation Technologies (ART) projects that access private sector expertise for developing radioactive waste disposition technologies (Gary R. Peterson, DOE, Office of Environmental Management).

The Cementitious Barriers Partnership collaborated with the Department of Energy to devise simulation tools to estimate and improve the performance of cement barriers in nuclear applications (Daryl R. Haefer, DOE, Office of Environmental Management and Sharon L. Marra, Savannah River National Laboratory). Finally, Process Knowledge (PK) is a key resource for the DOE Office of Environmental Management's efforts to deactivate and decommission facilities for disposition. This article explains how the elements of the PK body of knowledge were developed (Paula G. Kirk, DOE, Office of Environmental Management, et al.).

In total, 35 authors from 11 institutions contributed to the seven papers in the current issue. Those institutions include the DOE, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Champion Technologies, Inc., Cogentus Consulting, Limited, Argonne National Laboratory, the School of Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Savannah River National Laboratory.

The National Academy of Inventors™ is a 501c3 organization comprised of U.S. and international universities and non-profit research institutes. It was founded in 2010 at the University of South Florida to recognize and encourage inventors with a patent issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of university technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. Email info@academyofinventors.org; web www.academyofinventors.org

The editorial offices of Technology and Innovation are located at the University of South Florida, Office of Research & Innovation, 3702 Spectrum Blvd., Suite 175, Tampa, Florida, 33612 USA. Tel: +1-813-974-1347. Email TIjournal@research.usf.edu

News Release by Florida Science Communications, www.sciencescribe.net

Judy Lowry | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.usf.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>