Tutorial Session

Sunday, September 7, 2014
1:00 - 4:30 PM
Renaissance Hotel, Las Vegas

Brian Powell, Clemson University
An Overview of Biogeochemical Reactions Controlling Pu Environmental Mobility

This tutorial will provide an overview of the primary chemical, physical, and biological (biogeochemical) interactions that control the mobility of plutonium in the environment. The environmental mobility of Pu is profoundly influenced by sorption, complexation, and solubility which are in turn influenced by the oxidation state of plutonium. Thus, understanding and quantifying the redox speciation of Pu under environmental conditions is vital for the evaluation of the human and environmental health risks posed by disposal of Pu bearing wastes. The specific focus of this tutorial will be on 1) characterizing and quantifying oxidation/reduction reactions in aqueous systems and at solid:water interfaces and 2) identification of solubility controlling phases. Where possible, comparisons will be drawn between field measurements under natural conditions and laboratory based experiments using pure minerals and soils.

Albert Migliori, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Pu – Some Interesting Aspects of Thermodynamic and Electronic Structure

I review the physical properties of plutonium and its gallium alloys with an eye toward understanding what the outstanding and important fundamental science questions that remain today unanswered. Along the way, I discuss many assumptions about plutonium that have been extent for decades but are unsupported by measurements. Some of these assumptions include issues with phase diagrams, what actually happens as Pu ages, and recent measurements that validate a few others.

Andreas Kronenberg, International Atomic Energy Agency
Nuclear Fuels through the Eyes of a Radiochemist

Based on a lecture series concerning the nuclear fuel cycle established for nuclear engineering students, this lecture will give an overview of current and advanced fuel types, particularly considering fuel behavior during irradiation and options for subsequent fuel reprocessing. An emphasis will be given on UO2-ThO2 and PuO2-ThO2 mixed oxide fuels (including coated particles) and ternary Pu-U alloys as well as PuO2 space batteries. In order to show the wide range of current research topics, nuclear forensics issues will be briefly discussed.