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 Upcycling of PET Bottles: New Ideas for Resource Cycles in Germany
25.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

nachricht Dry landscapes can increase disease transmission
20.06.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>