Nuclear Energy Research with Uranium Nanoclusters
My research focuses on the nuclear fuel cycle and attempts to develop and understand newer and more efficient processes for nuclear waste recycling. The current process for recycling nuclear waste is called PUREX, and it is a chemical process that is very costly. The cost level is so high actually, that it is cheaper to just mine more uranium ore instead of attempting to recycle the uranium from nuclear waste to resuse it. As a result, nuclear waste is often seen in tankers buried underground. What I hope to achieve is a better process for this done with research on simulated fuel waste conditions. My research projects generate uranium nanoclusters, which can then be crystallized into a solid form of uranium that can be separated mechanically rather than chemically from the rest of the waste, making the process many times cheaper and easier than the current process.