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.