Next-gen workforce development for nuclear waste disposal R&D

January 11, 2024, 12:07PMANS News

The Department of Energy, in conjunction with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Texas A&M University, will conduct a biweekly webinar series aimed at providing a broad overview of nuclear waste management and disposal in the United States as well as the latest research activities. The target audience is undergraduate and graduate students in science, engineering, policy, sociotechnical, and social science programs.

The webinars will be held every other Friday from January 26 to April 19 from 3-4 p.m. (ET). More information and registration can be found here.

Workforce program: The webinar series is being launched as part of the DOE’s Next-Gen Workforce Development Pilot Program, which aims to inspire and inform the next generation of scientists, engineers, and policymakers about nuclear waste disposal research and development.

Offered through the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, Office of Spent Fuel and Waste Science and Technology, the program includes summer internship programs, dedicated postdoctoral positions, and seminars. In the past two years, the program—at Lawrence Berkeley, Sandia, and Los Alamos National Laboratories—has reached out to several universities, with more than 20 undergraduate and graduate students participating in the summer internship program.

The schedule

  • Jan. 26: “Back end of the nuclear fuel cycle through the lens of the Swiss program,” presented by Lee Peddicord of Texas A&M University
  • Feb. 9: “Sequestration mechanisms of radionuclides: nuclear waste disposal and environmental remediation,” presented by Brian Powell of Clemson University
  • Feb. 23: “The DOE’s spent fuel and waste disposition program, an overview,” presented by Paul Murray of the DOE.
  • Mar. 8: “Deep geologic disposal of long-lived radioactive waste for long-term protection of people and the environment,” presented by Emily Stein of Sandia
  • Mar. 22: “Underground research laboratories and international collaborations,” presented by LianGe Zheng of LBNL
  • Apr. 5: “Extended dry cask storage and subsequent transportation—Challenges, concerns, and R&D,” presented by Sylvia Saltzstein of Sandia
  • Apr. 26: “Sociotechnical considerations for consent-based siting,” presented by Kuhika Gupta of University of Oklahoma

Organizing committee

  • Haruko Wainwright, MIT
  • Lee Peddicord, Texas A&M University
  • LianGe Zheng, LBNL
  • Emily Stein, Sandia
  • Sylvia Saltzstein, Sandia
  • Carmen Mendez, Sandia

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