Savannah River National Laboratory researcher receives Seaborg Actinide Separations Award

172502 Tracy Rudisill 8-9-17 portrait

AIKEN, S.C. (October 10, 2017) – Savannah River National Laboratory Advisory Engineer Tracy S. Rudisill has received the 2017 Glenn T. Seaborg Actinide Separations Award. Given annually, this award recognizes a U.S. scientist or engineer who has made outstanding and lasting contributions to the development and application of actinide separations processes and methodology.

Rudisill was recognized for his research and development involving uranium, neptunium, plutonium, americium, and curium processing and his many contributions in the area of nuclear materials processing.

He is currently a principal investigator in the lab’s Separations and Actinide Science Group where he leads a team of engineers and scientists to develop chemical engineering flowsheets for the dissolution of used nuclear fuels and other nuclear materials.

Rudisill was selected to receive the Seaborg Actinide Separations Award for accomplishments in developing chemical engineering flowsheets for plutonium metal finishing, scrap recovery, dissolution of plutonium materials and the recovery of enriched uranium from research reactor fuels. He also developed and demonstrated processes required to save valuable americium and curium isotopes, which are used in the manufacturing of californium-252, a neutron emitter for radiation therapy and other applications, from disposal as waste.

His other accomplishments include working with the team of Savannah River National Lab scientists and engineers making the first successful demonstration of the uranium extraction (UREX) process as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cycle Technologies Material Recovery and Waste Form Development campaign. The UREX process is a nuclear reprocessing technique that can be used to save space inside high-level nuclear waste disposal sites by removing uranium from waste, which makes up the vast majority of the mass and volume of used nuclear fuel.

Rudisill is the fifth Savannah River National Laboratory researcher to receive the Seaborg Actinide Separations Award. He was recognized at the 41st Annual Actinide Separations Conference in May.

Savannah River National Laboratory is a multi-program national laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management. Savannah River National Laboratory puts science to work providing practical, cost-effective solutions for the nation’s environmental, nuclear security, energy and manufacturing challenges.