Scientists get $1.7 million for nuclear cleanup research


MIT scientists have been awarded $1.7 million over the next three years to do research intended to help the US Department of Energy clean up its nuclear waste sites.

The three scientists who won the grants, which were announced August 20 through the DOE's new Environmental Management Science Program (ESMP), are:

  • Professor Philip M. Gschwend of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, whose grant is titled "Manipulating Subsurface Colloids to Enhance Cleanups of DOE Waste Sites." The project involves basic research in the geosciences, studying the mechanisms involved in new techniques for the cleanup of contaminants found underground.
  • F. Dale Morgan, professor of geophysics in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, for "3-D Spectral IP Imaging: Non-Invasive Characterization of Contaminant Plumes." This project also involves basic research in the geosciences, studying a new technique for investigating the spread of contaminants in underground environments.
  • Professor M. Nafi Toksoz of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, for "Imaging and Characterizing the Waste Materials Inside an Underground Storage Tank Using Seismic Normal Modes." His project involves basic research in the physical sciences, studying a new technique for the characterization of the composition of waste storage tanks.

The three MIT grants are among 139 awarded to scientists from across the country. They were selected from 810 proposals. The EMSP awarded a total of $47 million in grants.

The EMSP is a partnership between the DOE Office of Environmental Management and the Office of Energy Research. It was started last March to focus on basic research in universities, national laboratories and industry that will help clean up DOE's nuclear waste sites.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 11, 1996.


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