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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.

  • Plutonium Experiment Opens New Research Possibilities

    Plutonium Experiment Opens New Research Possibilities

    Researchers used novel methods to safely create and analyze plutonium samples. The approaches could prove influential in future studies of the radioactive material, improving fundamental knowledge and perhaps benefitting research in legacy waste, national security and nuclear fuels.

  • Providing International Guidance to Achieve Remediation End States

    Providing International Guidance to Achieve Remediation "End States"

    An International Atomic Energy Agency effort, chaired by PNNL's Mike Truex, will help inform the process for achieving successful end states at contaminated sites worldwide.

  • Radiological Microscopy Suite Enables Innovative Nuclear Science

    Imaging Goes Underground at the Hanford Site

    "It's sort of like using infrared goggles to see heat signatures in the dark, except this is underground." PNNL researchers worked with CHPRC to successfully implement a state-of-the-art approach for monitoring the process of remediating residual uranium found in the soil at Hanford’s 300 Area near the Columbia River.

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas