Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



Contact:  Brad Esser

The essential mission of Environmental Radiochemistry effort is to understand the fate and transport of actinides in the environment. This mission like her sister mission in Stockpile Radiochemistry have their genesis in the rich Radiochemistry history at LLNL. This history has been the result of decades of activity that had its initial foray in the nuclear testing program. NSD personnel are involved in a full spectrum of activities to provide experimental and modeling understanding of actinides in the environment.

Current research is focused on determining the dominant biogeochemical processes that control plutonium (Pu) transport in the soil and groundwater. NSD scientists are investigating the biogeochemical processes controlling actinide migration in the environment. Recent work   examines Np and Pu sorption to mineral colloids over environmental concentrations that span > 10 orders of magnitude (10-6 > ∼ 10-16 mol/L). The research is funded as a DOE/OBER as a Science Focus Area.

Environmental samples are evaluated in order to determine the location and migration of radionuclides in the soil and water for management of natural resources and radio-ecological evaluations, and to determine how nuclear waste would behave for long-term disposal and storage.