RICHLAND — The future of nuclear power and what do to with the potential increase in used nuclear fuel will be addressed at a professional development seminar at 12 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, at WSU Tri-Cities.
“Used fuel disposition options for the nuclear energy renaissance” will be presented by James Buelt, nuclear energy sector manager in the Energy and Environment Directorate at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland.
The hour-long seminar starts is in Room 212 of the East Building Room, 2710 University Drive, Richland. Admission is free and open to the public.
“The growth of nuclear power needed to achieve carbon emission reductions and carbon stabilization in the atmosphere will result in used fuel generation rates that far exceed that of today,” Buelt said. “The pending nuclear energy renaissance in this country depends largely on the disposition of used nuclear fuel. This seminar will present options available, including direct disposal, interim storage, and recycle, and discuss the merits of each option.”
Buelt is responsible for developing the relationship and business with the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy and the nuclear industry, which currently totals approximately $15 million per year at PNNL. He is responsible for the development and execution of PNNL’s nuclear energy strategy on how to best deploy its scientific and facility resources for the safe, secure, and economic expansion of nuclear power.
During Buelt’s 33-year career with Battelle at PNNL, he has been a sector manager, technical group manager, nuclear facility manager, product line manager, project manager and senior development engineer. His responsibilities have centered on the development of radioactive and chemical waste treatment and immobilization processes. He holds several patents on In Situ Vitrification and other environmental cleanup methods. Buelt received his bachelor’s of science in chemical engineering from Oregon State University in 1975.
This is the first nuclear engineering-related seminar in the Spring 2009 series, which is coordinated by Richard Stout as part of the WSU Tri-Cities Engineering program. Stout is a nuclear physicist and is president of the Eastern Washington section of the American Nuclear Society.
For more details on the nuclear-related engineering courses offered at WSU Tri-Cities, visit or contact Academic Director Scott Hudson at 509-372-7254 or