RICHLAND — “Nuclear Renaissance at the WSU Nuclear Radiation Center: Teaching, Research and Isotope Production” is the topic of a nuclear engineering professional development seminar this Friday, April 10, at WSU Tri-Cities.
The hourlong seminar starts at 12:10 p.m. in Room 210 of the West Building, 2710 University Drive, Richland, and in Murrow 53 in WSU Pullman. Admission is free and open to the public.
The speaker is Donald Wall, director of the WSU Nuclear Radiation Center in Pullman. The NRC operates a one megawatt TRIGA nuclear reactor — the only research nuclear reactor in the state of Washington and one of a small number of university-based research reactors remaining in the U.S. Wall is a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensed senior reactor operator and he holds a joint appointment in the WSU Department of Chemistry as an affiliate assistant professor.
The WSUNRC also uses the reactor for radioisotope production for external clients, which generates a source of income to support teaching and research. Wall’s presentation will focus on the nuclear science and technology educational programs at WSU and the successful refueling and restart of the reactor in 2008 after conversion from HEU to LEU fuel.
Wall’s experience with nuclear chemistry is a result of work at Florida State University, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), New Mexico State University and Washington State University. He obtained a doctoral degree at Florida State University in the nuclear chemistry group, working for Professor Gregory Choppin—a co-discoverer of element 101, Mendelevium.
His graduate work was focused on the aqueous phase chemical thermodynamics of the actinides. During that time, he also worked as a laboratory instructor at the American Chemical Society’s Nuclear Chemistry Summer School at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
He has worked for Sandia National Laboratories as a staff scientist on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) project—the only operating deep geological nuclear waste repository in the world. At Sandia, he worked in the Repository Performance Department on actinide speciation and solubility, and as the laboratory manager at the Sandia National Laboratories Carlsbad Programs Group. He moved to New Mexico State University taking a position as an associate director in the NMSU College of Engineering.
The WSU Tri-Cities Spring 2009 nuclear engineering seminar series is coordinated by Richard Stout as part of the Engineering program. Stout is a nuclear physicist and is president of the Eastern Washington section of the American Nuclear Society.