Radiochemical Science Team
Manager: Reid Peterson
The mission of the Radiochemical Team (RCST) is to provide innovative technical solutions to chemical and radiochemical separation problems important to the DOE and the nuclear industry. The RCST achieves this mission by combining a unique mix of fundamental separations science and applied process chemistry and testing. The fundamental separations research is founded upon the hypothesis that high selectivity for specific ions can be achieved by designing chemical agents (i.e., ligands) that sequester the ion to be separated. New ligands are designed by applying the principles of coordination chemistry and their binding properties investigated through a variety of experimental techniques, including liquid-liquid extraction, spectroscopy (e.g., electronic absorption, FTIR, Raman, NMR), and thermochemical methods.
The RCST also has surface science capabilities to explore the interactions of actinides with surfaces such as minerals or ion exchange media. The unique radiochemical capabilities of the RPL allow transformation of new separation methods from laboratory curiosity to industrial application. This involves development, scale-up, and deployment of separations processes. This expertise has developed over the last two decades in addressing processing issues associated with high-level and low-activity mixed tank wastes. Typical technologies exploited include leaching, liquid-liquid extraction, ion exchange, and membranes.