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Migration09 Conference

Migration '09 Sponsorship

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Migration '09 was organized by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy's EMSL, and Washington State University. Each of these entities is known for their expertise and capabilities related to radionuclide fate and transport.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: At this U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory, interdisciplinary teams advance science and technology and deliver solutions to America's most intractable problems in energy, national security and the environment.

Radiochemical Processing Laboratory glove box

Answering questions about contaminant migration in the air, water, and soil is vital to solving these problems. For example, researchers conduct work on radionuclide migration through the subsurface to aid in Hanford Site cleanup; review and resolve process issues for the Waste Treatment Plant, established to vitrify waste from the Hanford Site's 177 radioactive waste tanks; and develop new protocols and technologies to detect nuclear materials and validate nonproliferation agreements.

Our interdisciplinary teams use the resources of well-equipped laboratories, such as the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory, to conduct fundamental and applied research. In addition, the teams work at the nearby Hanford 300 Area Integrated Field Research Site, where they conduct field studies on contaminant migration.

PNNL employs 4,200 staff, has a $850 million annual budget, and has been managed by Ohio-based Battelle. Radiochemistry has been a key capability since the Laboratory opened its doors in 1965.


EMSL: Funded by DOE's Office of Biological Research, EMSL is a national scientific user facility located at PNNL. Bringing together experts and state-of-the-art instruments critical to their research under one roof, EMSL has helped thousands of researchers use a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to solve some of the most important national challenges in energy, environmental sciences, and human health.

An important theme in EMSL's research is geochemistry/biogeochemistry and subsurface science. Scientists from around the world travel to EMSL to collaborate with experts at EMSL and use instrumentation to understand reaction mechanisms at the mineral-water, microbe-mineral, and fluid-fluid interfaces at the molecular scale and understanding the effect of these mechanisms on the fate and transport of contaminants. This instrumentation includes state-of-the-art microscopy facilities, NMR facilities including unique capabilities to handle solid radiologic samples, a wide range of spectroscopy and diffraction capabilities including time-resolved laser fluorescence spectroscopy for measuring radioactive elements (U(VI) Cm(III)), and Mossbauer spectroscopy for examining subsurface materials. EMSL also supports world-class capabilities in computation including NWChem, which has emphasized developing capabilities for molecular simulation of actinide species.

In addition, EMSL is in the process of taking surface science probes available at the user facility and making them available for application to radiological samples. This work would be conducted in a proposed radiological annex at EMSL.

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Washington State University: Founded in 1890, this land-grant institution boasts a major undergraduate and graduate program in radiochemistry through its Institute for Radiochemistry, which is located within the College of Sciences and the Chemistry Department. Annually, WSU awards degrees to half of the nation’s graduates earning doctoral degrees in radiochemistry. Specifically, the faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students work on radiochemical research in environmental and national security areas that include computational chemistry, separations science, materials science, and radioactive waste management.

In addition to the radiochemical laboratories in Fulmer Hall, researchers at the university work in WSU’s Nuclear Radiation Center. The facility includes a 1.3-MW nuclear research reactor, the 1000 Curie Cobalt-60 Irradiation Facility, a Boron Neutron Capture Facility, and additional radiochemistry laboratories. Filling a unique research role both in the state and the nation, the NRC supports numerous experimental studies and projects, including work in geology, chemistry, environmental sciences, and forensic studies. WSU’s radiochemistry resources have resulted in important collaborations with universities, national laboratories, regional industries, and even K-12 educational programs.



Migration 09