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PNNL Chemist Receives Glenn T. Seaborg Actinide Separations Award

Gregg Lumetta recognized for work on cleaning radioactive waste

September 2015
PNNL Chemist Receives Glenn T. Seaborg Actinide Separations Award

Chemist Gregg Lumetta has received the Glenn T. Seaborg Actinide Separations Award for his accomplishments in treating radioactive waste inside Hanford underground waste tanks.

Lumetta's work involved applying the transuranium extraction (TRUEX) process to the pre-treatment of high-level radioactive sludge. He successfully demonstrated the process of separating the transuranic elements plutonium and americium into smaller volumes so they could be controlled, leaving the remaining material to be managed as low-level waste.

Research that Lumetta focused on included separating actinide elements, like plutonium and uranium. He also contributed to the development of new ligands (molecules that bond to metal ions) for cleanup, application of existing ligands for plutonium separation, and development of new methods for separating minor actinides such as americium and curium from dissolved irradiated fuel.

The sixth PNNL staff member to receive the Glenn T. Seaborg Actinide Separations Award, Lumetta was honored at the annual Actinide Separations Conference in Salt Lake City in May.

Lumetta leads PNNL's Actinide Science Team and serves as the principal investigator for a DOE project to develop new methods for separating actinides from irradiated nuclear fuel. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, and has published 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals.

To learn more, read PNNL's news release.


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