Radiochemistry and Nuclear Forensics - Research - Nuclear Science and Engineering - Colorado School of Mines

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Radiochemistry and Nuclear Forensics


Radiochemists study the chemistry of radioactive elements or use radioactivity to probe chemical reactions. The discipline sits at the heart of many parts of the nuclear enterprise and plays key roles in national security, environmental remediation and waste disposal, the reprocessing of nuclear fuel, nuclear medicine, and even in understanding the organization of the periodic table of the elements.

The Colorado School of Mines is at the forefront of modern radiochemistry with facilities that allow us to study extremely rare radioactive elements such as berkelium and californium. Our research programs emphasize multiple aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle with particular interests in separations, environmental, and biological chemistry. For example, Mines faculty are exploring the science to enable new generations of high-efficiency fuel cycle separations by studying the chemistry of the transplutonium elements and through coopting biological metal separation strategies to separate components of used fuel. As with the Nuclear Science and Engineering Program’s other research emphases, work is conducted in close collaborations with the DOE national laboratories.

Faculty and researchers

  • Jen Braley
  • Mark Jensen

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