Grant for nuclear waste research

Brad Marston, professor of physics, will use a newly announced $75,000 grant from the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative to develop predictive models needed to ensure the safe, long-term disposal of spent nuclear fuel rods. Marston said his theoretical research, which transcends  boundaries of quantum chemistry, many-body physics, and geochemistry, will focus on “enabling first-principles predictions of properties of actinides such as uranium and plutonium as waste products in the environment and in closed nuclear fuel cycles.” Overcoming the issue of nuclear waste disposal could advance the use of nuclear power, which many climate scientists regard as a way to provide needed energy while reducing carbon emissions. “The project thus addresses a problem of fundamental import that at the same time bears upon the quest for a sustainable future,” Marston said.