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Title: Scientific Opportunities to Reduce Risk in Nuclear Process Science

Abstract

Cleaning up the nation’s nuclear weapons complex remains as one of the most technologically challenging and financially costly problems facing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Safety, cost, and technological challenges have often delayed progress in retrieval, processing, and final disposition of high-level waste, spent nuclear fuel, and challenging materials. Some of the issues result from the difficulty and complexity of the technological issues; others have programmatic bases, such as strategies that may provide undue focus on near-term goals or difficulty in developing and maintaining stakeholder confidence in the proposed solutions. We propose that independent basic fundamental science research, addressing the full cleanup life-cycle, offers an opportunity to help address these challenges by providing 1) scientific insight into the fundamental mechanisms involved in currently selected processing and disposal options, 2) a rational path to the development of alternative technologies should the primary options fail, 3) confidence that models that predict long-term performance of different disposal options are based upon the best available science, and 4) fundamental science discovery that enables transformational solutions to revolutionize the current baseline processes. Over the last 3 years, DOE’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) has experienced a fundamental shift in philosophy. The mission focus ofmore » driving to closure has been replaced by one of enabling the long-term needs of DOE and the nation. Resolving new challenges, such as the disposition of DOE spent nuclear fuel, have been added to EM’s responsibilities. In addition, the schedules for addressing several elements of the cleanup mission have been extended. As a result, EM’s mission is no longer focused only on driving the current baselines to closure. Meeting the mission will require fundamental advances over at least a 30-year window if not longer as new challenges are added. The overall intent of this paper is to foster a dialogue on how basic scientific research can assist DOE in executing its cleanup and environmental management mission. In this paper, we propose that such scientific investments not be focused solely on what may be viewed as current DOE needs, but also be based upon longer-term investments in specific areas of science that underpin technologies presently in use. In the latter regard, we propose four science theme areas: 1) the structure and dynamics of materials and interfaces, 2) coupled chemical and physical processes, 3) complex solution phase phenomena, and 4) chemical recognition phenomena. The proposed scientific focus for each of these theme areas and the scientific opportunities are identified, along with links to major risks within the initiative areas identified in EM’s Engineering and Technology Roadmap.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
986710
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-62093
EY804910M; TRN: US1006422
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Waste Management 2009
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; 99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; CLEANING; CLOSURES; LIFE CYCLE; MANAGEMENT; NUCLEAR FUELS; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; PERFORMANCE; PROCESSING; SAFETY; SCHEDULES; WASTE MANAGEMENT; WINDOWS; SPENT FUELS

Citation Formats

Bredt, Paul R., Felmy, Andrew R., Gauglitz, Phillip A., Poloski, Adam P., Vienna, John D., Moyer, Bruce A., Hobbs, David, Wilmarth, B., Mcilwain, Michael, Subramanian, K., Krahn, Steve, and Machara, N. Scientific Opportunities to Reduce Risk in Nuclear Process Science. United States: N. p., 2009. Web.
Bredt, Paul R., Felmy, Andrew R., Gauglitz, Phillip A., Poloski, Adam P., Vienna, John D., Moyer, Bruce A., Hobbs, David, Wilmarth, B., Mcilwain, Michael, Subramanian, K., Krahn, Steve, & Machara, N. Scientific Opportunities to Reduce Risk in Nuclear Process Science. United States.
Bredt, Paul R., Felmy, Andrew R., Gauglitz, Phillip A., Poloski, Adam P., Vienna, John D., Moyer, Bruce A., Hobbs, David, Wilmarth, B., Mcilwain, Michael, Subramanian, K., Krahn, Steve, and Machara, N. Fri . "Scientific Opportunities to Reduce Risk in Nuclear Process Science". United States.
@article{osti_986710,
title = {Scientific Opportunities to Reduce Risk in Nuclear Process Science},
author = {Bredt, Paul R. and Felmy, Andrew R. and Gauglitz, Phillip A. and Poloski, Adam P. and Vienna, John D. and Moyer, Bruce A. and Hobbs, David and Wilmarth, B. and Mcilwain, Michael and Subramanian, K. and Krahn, Steve and Machara, N.},
abstractNote = {Cleaning up the nation’s nuclear weapons complex remains as one of the most technologically challenging and financially costly problems facing the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Safety, cost, and technological challenges have often delayed progress in retrieval, processing, and final disposition of high-level waste, spent nuclear fuel, and challenging materials. Some of the issues result from the difficulty and complexity of the technological issues; others have programmatic bases, such as strategies that may provide undue focus on near-term goals or difficulty in developing and maintaining stakeholder confidence in the proposed solutions. We propose that independent basic fundamental science research, addressing the full cleanup life-cycle, offers an opportunity to help address these challenges by providing 1) scientific insight into the fundamental mechanisms involved in currently selected processing and disposal options, 2) a rational path to the development of alternative technologies should the primary options fail, 3) confidence that models that predict long-term performance of different disposal options are based upon the best available science, and 4) fundamental science discovery that enables transformational solutions to revolutionize the current baseline processes. Over the last 3 years, DOE’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) has experienced a fundamental shift in philosophy. The mission focus of driving to closure has been replaced by one of enabling the long-term needs of DOE and the nation. Resolving new challenges, such as the disposition of DOE spent nuclear fuel, have been added to EM’s responsibilities. In addition, the schedules for addressing several elements of the cleanup mission have been extended. As a result, EM’s mission is no longer focused only on driving the current baselines to closure. Meeting the mission will require fundamental advances over at least a 30-year window if not longer as new challenges are added. The overall intent of this paper is to foster a dialogue on how basic scientific research can assist DOE in executing its cleanup and environmental management mission. In this paper, we propose that such scientific investments not be focused solely on what may be viewed as current DOE needs, but also be based upon longer-term investments in specific areas of science that underpin technologies presently in use. In the latter regard, we propose four science theme areas: 1) the structure and dynamics of materials and interfaces, 2) coupled chemical and physical processes, 3) complex solution phase phenomena, and 4) chemical recognition phenomena. The proposed scientific focus for each of these theme areas and the scientific opportunities are identified, along with links to major risks within the initiative areas identified in EM’s Engineering and Technology Roadmap.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {8}
}

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