The Radionuclide Geochemistry Team manages radiochemistry experimental laboratories with specialized equipment to study nuclide behavior at elevated temperatures and pressures. 

What We Do

The Radionuclide Geochemistry Team leverages our state-of-the-art laboratories to address gaps in our understanding of the environmental behavior of radionuclides and other contaminants, especially at elevated temperatures and pressures. Our multidisciplinary team works at the nexus of chemistry, geology, geochemistry, mineralogy, mineral physics and engineering to design and execute laboratory and field experiments to address key knowledge gaps relevant to environmental, energy, materials and national security problems.

Primary Expertise

  • Environmental remediation and restoration, data analysis and project management.
  • Performing geochemical analyses to enhance Earth System Models.
  • Thermodynamics of solid phases and aqueous species.
  • Analysis of fluid- and subsurface fracture- related dynamics. 
  • Radionuclide behavior at elevated temperatures and pressures. 

Research Themes

  • Measuring and modeling stable and radioactive isotope behavior to better understand biogeochemical processes, date sediments and monitor vegetation for patterns of biogeochemical and hydrologically induced stress. 
  • Stable isotopes for elucidating processes in catchment hydrology. 
  • Fate and transport of minerals of economic interest from unconventional sources (i.e., organic rich media). 
  • Studying the interaction of engineered barrier systems (EBS) in repository systems, nuclear waste form stability in repository pressure/temperature conditions and hydrous mineral stability. 
  • Corrosion of canisters and cladding materials at elevated T/P.
  • Engineered barrier performance assessment at elevated T/P.
  • Thermodynamics of solid materials (including nuclear materials) at elevated T/P. 
  • Equations of state for spent nuclear fuel materials. 
  • Colloid facilitated transport of engineered barrier materials and impacts of radionuclide fate and transport.
  • Partitioning of radionuclides, noble gases and fission products into glasses and molten rock.
  • Smart gels/foams for decontamination of facilities. 
  • Thermodynamic measurements of minerals/materials used for nuclear fuels, waste disposal and other applications.
  • Speciation of actinides and actinide dissolution in molten salts.
  • Rare Earth Element and critical mineral resource extraction and development of separation technologies.
  • Database development for materials and minerals at T/P. 
  • Hydrous mineral stability. 
  • Measurements and derivations of equations of state (including nuclear materials). 
  • Properties of zero and negative expansion materials.