Fluor is responsible for the management, operations and strategic directions of the SRNL. The laboratory has approximately 900 employees and conducts research and development for a diversified portfolio of federal agencies supporting national missions in environmental management, national security and clean energy. As the DOE Environmental Management Laboratory, SRNL provides scientific and technological strategic direction and program support for the nation’s legacy waste cleanup program.
The SRNL saw exciting discoveries and innovations in 2016.
In March, researchers at the SRNL and the University of Georgia announced the creation of a nanostructure that early experiments reveal could increase the efficiency of solar energy.
The scientists hypothesized that nanostructures fabricated from a core of iron oxide and coated with a shell of titanium dioxide would absorb more solar energy than traditional single-layer nanostructures. The findings may eventually lead to advances in a number of applications ranging from energy production to electronics.
In late June, the lab’s new thermal neutron source began operations. The first-of-a-kind neutron source replaces an aging facility at the lab using a Californium source which, because of its radioactive half-life, is beginning to see diminishing capabilities.
The thermal neutron source, more than three times more powerful than the existing capability, will be used to provide continuing analysis for corrosion control and other support to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s tritium mission, which the Savannah River Site carries out in support of the nation’s nuclear deterrence. The source will also support the Site’s radiochemistry program.