Radiochemistry and Nuclear Power

Nuclear research and education was launched in 1990 at FIU.  Since 2014 FIU has developed a Radiochemistry PhD track launched in Aug. 2015 and a Health Physics Specialty under the BS in Physics launched in Aug. 2016. Over this period, many new faculty, staff and students have engaged in nuclear related R&D. Presently over 110 faculty and staff and 75 students are active in nuclear research.

Capabilities and Research Areas:

  • Environmental Radiochemistry R&D is currently applied to; deactivation of nuclear facilities; remediation and immobilization soil & groundwater; and mobility of radionuclides in soils at waste disposal sites (e.g., WIPP); and the investigation of processes in the marine and fresh water environment
  • Nuclear separations applied to nuclear energy’s need for improved reprocessing of the next generation of nuclear fuel and for high level radioactive waste
  • Nuclear Workforce Development for government agencies and nuclear companies
  • Nuclear Measurements and Nuclear Safety via modeling radiation transport, developing new radiation detectors, and teaching and applying health physics
  • Nuclear Medicine advancing imaging and treatment of humans (theranostics)
  • Nuclear Forensics using advanced Spectroscopy, isotopic distributions, and other techniques for the identification of nuclear materials and their origin

Collaborators

  • Dr. David Roelant, Director of FIU’s Interdisciplinary Nuclear Research Program, is a Principal Scientist at the ARC. He specializes in sensors, imaging, nuclear measurements and modeling radiation transport and radiation safety. As a recognized expert he has reviewed over 150 proposals for DOE and DoD and many for the NRC. See bio
  • Dr. Konstantinos Kavallieratos, Assoc. Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry Dept., is also Director of Nuclear Fellows, Nuclear Scholars, and NSF REU Sensing Program. He specializes in radiochemistry, nuclear separations, novel chemical sensing and measurement techniques.

  • Dr. Ines Triay, Exec. Director of ARC; Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry Dept.
  • Dr. Joerg Reinhold, Assoc. Professor, Dept. of Physics

  • Dr. Jose Almirall, Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry Dept.

  • Dr. Raphael Raptis, Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry Dept.
  • Dr. Christopher Dares, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Dr. Yelena Katsenovich, Research Scientist, ARC
  • Dr. Hilary Emerson, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ARC
  • Dr. Vasileios Anagnostopoulos, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ARC
  • Dr. Ravi Gudavalli, Research Scientist, ARC
  • Dr. Ievgen Govor, Chemistry & Biochemistry Dept.

FIU’s Interdisciplinary Nuclear Research Program’s mission is to bring together researchers from several departments, centers and institutes to build an internationally recognized nuclear program at FIU.

AREVAUniversity of MichiganWestinghouse Electric Co.
Oak Ridge National LaboratoryND2 Group LLCFlorida Power & Light/NextEra
Savannah River National LaboratoryUniversity of South CASouthern Nuclear Co.
Los Alamos National LaboratoryUniversity of TennesseeDuke Power
DOE Jefferson LaboratoryHitachi Power SystemsIdaho National Laboratory
Florida State University (FSU)Argonne National LaboratoryUniversity of Florida
Cabrera Environmental Services, Inc.ISM Solutions Inc.FL Memorial University
Pacific Northwest National LaboratoryLawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryDOE Radiological & Environmental Sciences Lab
New Mexico Environmental Dept.FL DERMPaine College
South Carolina Universities Research and Education FoundationClemson UniversityDOE National Analytical Management Program (NAMP)
Vector Inc.VJ TechnologiesWaste Control Specialist
Waste Management Symposia, Inc. University of Nevada Las Vegas

Infrastructure

FIU has over 30 research labs and facilities using radioactive materials and has a broad radiation license with the State of Florida to use a wide variety of radioisotopes. Excluding biological and medical research labs using radioactive materials, there are 15 environmental and energy research facilities handling radionuclides which include: 9 ARC labs, 2 Physics Dept. labs, and 4 Chemistry & Biochemistry Dept. labs. These include cold and hot test facilities.

History of FIU’s Nuclear Program

Florida International University has engaged in nuclear research and education since 1990 when the Nuclear Physics Program was started. This nuclear research and education grew over 500% in 1995 with the establishment of the Applied Research Center (ARC) to support the US Dept. of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management in cleaning up soil, groundwater, buildings and waste all contaminated with radioactive material. These nuclear programs continued at the $4M to $7M level since 1995.

The nexus for the rapidly growing nuclear research and academic programs was a “Nuclear Teach In” at FIU in October 2011. At this event it was discovered that many FIU researchers were actively involved in or developing nuclear research in a myriad of nuclear areas. Due to the silo nature of many institutions of higher learning, nuclear researchers across FIU were unaware of each other. Seven of these researchers began meeting in November 2011 and collaborating in interdisciplinary proposals and R&D and sharing limited nuclear instrumentation among the PIs. These seven researchers formed FIU’s Interdisciplinary Nuclear Research and education (INR) Program with the support of FIU’s Office of Research and Economic Development. The INR Program has grown to over 55 FIU faculty, staff and administrators. It collaborates with 3 other established nuclear programs at FIU, namely: the Cooperative Agreement program with the Dept. of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management; the nuclear physics program with DOE’s Office of Science; and medical R&D using radioisotopes.

Seeing the broad science expertise interested in nuclear research, FIU Administration established in 2012 a Nuclear Board of Advisors for Science, Engineering and Medicine (NBASEM) consisting of 16 top nuclear experts from across the USA from academia, industry, DOE National Laboratories and the federal government. Dr. Nils Diaz, former Chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was chair for this board from 2012-2016.

Contact

David Roelant, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Research
Applied Research Center at
Florida International University

10555 W. Flagler Street
Suite 2100
Miami, FL 33174
Tel: 305-348-6625
Fax: 305-348-2309
roelantd@fiu.edu


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