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Energy and Environment,

Environmental Health and Remediation

Dawn Wellman

(509) 375-2017

Prior waste generation activities dating back to the 1940's nuclear weapons mission paired with the impact of contaminants in the environment have resulted in the necessary ability to make critical cleanup decisions. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory develops and delivers science-based and risk-informed solutions to make water, soil, and air cleaner. Our goal is to enable cleanup for complex challenges in waste processing and environmental remediation and stewardship with a depth of expertise and objectivity that promotes public confidence in the country's ability to manage the nuclear legacy and achieve environmental protection.

To achieve this, we are integrating our fundamental science-based understanding with applied research to deliver systems-based solutions. Our approaches enable predictive understanding of system performance for managing and monitoring residual DOE tank waste, waste processing, immobilization and disposal, environmental remediation, restoration, and stewardship (see interactive web feature). Equally important, we facilitate interactions with stakeholders, regulators, and the public by providing scientific and technical understanding necessary to provide solutions and inform the risks, liabilities, and economics of complex cleanup challenges as the nation strives to achieve environmental protection.

The Environmental Health and Remediation focus areas include: Chemical and Nuclear Processing, Subsurface Science and Engineering, Energy-Water Nexus, Radiation Measurements and Irradiation, Climate Change Modeling and Decision Science, Landscape Scale Management and Resilient Coastal Systems. We also are building capabilities through PNNL's Nuclear Process Science Initiative.

  • Specialized Ultrasound Technique Inspects Hanford Tank Integrity

    Specialized Ultrasound Technique Inspects Hanford Tank Integrity

    Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) and PNNL researchers just completed testing of an adapted Ultrasonic Volumetric nondestructive examination process on a 12-by-20-foot mock Hanford waste tank bottom. With this novel sensor technology, it may now be possible to inspect the physically inaccessible tank bottom plates. This has never been possible before because about 90 percent of the tank bottom is blocked by insulating concrete.

  • Surrogate Waste Tests at Field Lysimeter Test Facility

    Surrogate Waste Tests at Field Lysimeter Test Facility

    A project to assess the integrity of low-activity waste (LAW) waste forms will use the Hanford Site Field Lysimeter Test Facility. The study will produce surrogate waste forms and monitor their wastewater streams for evidence of degradation. The study aims to improve stakeholder confidence in the safe disposal of LAW.

  • NPSI Uses Show-and-Tell Video for Particle Study Method

    NPSI Uses Show-and-Tell Video for Particle Study Method

    Sometimes the best way to convey a process is to show it. That's the approach a Nuclear Process Science Initiative research team pursued to share the novel technique they created to study boehmite particles.

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas