Video of the week: A new paradigm for nuclear waste management | The American Ceramic Society

Video of the week: A new paradigm for nuclear waste management

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John Marra spoke at the Materials Challenges in Energy conference in February 2010 on new and emerging approaches to the thorny issue of managing nuclear wastes, and the fundamental changes that need to be made. Concerns about nuclear wastes have plagued nuclear power operators for decades and the Obama administration’s call for building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants and commitments for over $8 billion in loan guarantees for the construction of two new nuclear reactors in the United States gives these concerns new meaning.

Although Marra takes some time to explain the political and technical context of a “nuclear renaissance,” his main points have to do with a roadmap for applying new techniques for converting spent fuel into safer and reusable assets, and moving to a fuel-recycle model rather than the existing “once-through” model. He also discusses the coming Gen III and IV reactors, and opportunities for the most significant R&D gains.

Marra is an associate laboratory director at the Savannah River National Lab where he works on Strategic Initiative Development. He has worked for over two decades in the management and treatment of high-level radioactive waste, development and application of advanced materials and advanced chemical process applications. He has coauthored numerous publications on the application of ceramic materials in the nuclear industry. Marra is also a past-president of ACerS, an Fellow of the Society and a past chair and past trustee/director of the organization’s Nuclear & Environmental Technology Division.

37 minutes.