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Radiochemical Processing Laboratory


Photo: Shielded Scanning Electron Microscope
The shielded scanning electron microscope with light element dispersive spectroscopy is used to analyze highly radioactive samples, such as spent nuclear fuel, at the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory High-Level Radiochemistry Facility operating gallery. Shown here with shielding removed, a researcher fine tunes an image for demonstration purposes. Enlarge image

Below you will find links to detailed descriptions of the capabilities the Radiochemical Science & Engineering group utilize.

  • Analytical Support Operations—identification and quantification of radioactive isotopes and organic/inorganic radiological compounds.

  • Analytical Transmission Electron Microscope—a tool that allows radionuclide materials analysis at the nanometer scale, almost a thousand times higher resolution than other imaging technologies.

  • Helium Gas Measurements—unique high-sensitivity gas mass spectrometer system for measurement of extremely low concentrations of helium in very small samples of radioactive and non-radioactive materials, and in selected gases.

  • Hydrogen Gas Measurements—a unique quadrupole mass spectrometry system that provides sensitive measurements of hydrogen in very small samples of radioactive and non-radioactive materials.

  • Medical Isotopes—We are restructuring our capabilities to support scientific advances in isotopes for medicine

  • Radiochemical Process Engineering—Our primary expertise lies in development, scale-up and deployment of first-of-a-kind processes to solve environmental problems.

  • Quantitative Gas Mass Spectrometer—This instrument allows for rapid sample turnaround, with typical detection limits for most permanent gases and low mass organic.

  • Radiochemical Separation—Unique facilities and broad-based staff allow for separations research to span the spectrum from the molecular level up to testing of flowsheets for industrial application.

  • Radiological Dispersion and Interfacial Chemistry—Our focus is the study and control of properties that determine the behavior of multi-scaled interfacial systems. These properties include composition, particle size distribution, surface charge, viscosity, and density. We have the capability to study these properties in radioactive and non-radioactive systems using equipment on bench tops, radiological fume hoods, glove boxes and hot cells.

  • Radiological Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory—NMR methods have been exploited by chemists to study innumerable chemical systems.

  • Radiological Surface Science Laboratory—A unique multi-instrument facility that combines powerful surface analytical capability with the ability to examine radioactive samples, creating new opportunities for basic through applied research.

  • Reactor Dosimetry—techniques and monitors to make measurements in complex reactor environments and computer programs to determine fundamental neutron exposure and radiation damage parameters.

  • Shielded Facilities Operations—The hot cell complexes and the stand alone mini-cells provide unique, complimentary capabilities for conducting bench-scale to pilot-scale work with wide varieties and forms of radioactive materials.

  • Spectroscopic Capabilities—Our instruments are routinely used for studies on highly radioactive materials such as tank waste and spent fuel and can be modified for specific characterization.

  • Thermoanalytical Capabilities—Provides real-time information on reaction products, reaction enthalpies, mass changes, reaction kinetics, and heat transfer. This correlated information can be used to identify process operational parameters, assess chemical reactivity hazards, and provide fundamental chemical data that can be used for thermodynamic and kinetic calculations.


Energy and Environment Directorate


RPL at a Glance

Solving Global Problems with Premier Staff and Facilities
Solving Global Problems with Premier Staff and Facilities

RPL Historic Landmark

A National Asset with Multiple Missions
A National Asset with Multiple Missions

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