Dr. Jonathan Burns, an associate research scientist with the
Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI), was recently
awarded a research and development award of close to $400,000 from
the U.S. Department of Energy as part of their Nuclear Energy
University Program (NEUP). Burns's project, which focuses on group
actinide separation by crystallization, was one of two proposals
selected in the area of separations and the only one dealing with
recovering the actinides from used nuclear fuel.
According to Burns, the technique he proposes is a paradigm
shift away from the traditional approach of solvent extraction, and
the NEUP award is evidence of the concept gaining visibility.
"With the support of this NEUP award," says Burns, "I anticipate
significant progress in not only the technical development of the
separation, but also in general interest and an adoption of the
separation technique with the scientific community at large."
Burns will be collaborating with researchers at Oak Ridge
National Laboratory on this project. The NEUP was developed
to support university-led research in advanced nuclear science and
technology, as well as funding equipment upgrades at U.S. colleges
and universities and providing student educational support.