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Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM)

Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM)

Latest Announcements

Kevin Rosso and Patricia Huestis talk about poster

Ambitious IDREAM Meeting Nets Insights and Ideas

(February  2018)

Congratulations to the IDREAM team on their latest all-hands meeting. At this 3-day event, researchers and advisors discussed how the Energy Frontier Research Center is answering tough questions about complex radioactive environments. Throughout the gathering, scientists from two national labs and four universities presented their research and shared ideas.

Kevin Rosso

Kevin Rosso Joins National Academies' Committee

(February  2018)

Congratulations to Dr. Kevin Rosso at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on his appointment to a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's committee. The committee will develop the agenda for basic research in separations science.

Atomic force microscopy set up

Measuring Small Forces that Lead to Large Effects

Technique offers details on forces between crystal faces, enabling predictions of complex behaviors

(December  2017)

Forces between individual particles in slurries are responsible for their rheological behavior. Direct quantification of physical forces between mineral faces is now possible with atomic force microscopy, thanks to work at IDREAM, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by DOE's Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences.

Gibbsite synthesized at different pH values

Mastering Tailored Design of Aluminum Nanomaterials

New methodology is cost-effective and more environmentally friendly than other approaches

(December  2017)

Industrial processing of aluminum requires understanding its behavior in highly alkaline solutions. Processing slurries and precipitates from these solutions is aided by controlling the shape of tiny particles that are produced. Researchers at the IDREAM Energy Frontier Research Center developed a synthesis route. The team’s work provides a methodology that is cost-effective and more environmentally friendly than other approaches.

Aurora Clark

Aurora Clark Featured in Latest Issue of Frontiers in Energy Research

(November  2017)

Congratulations to Dr. Aurora Clark on being profiled in the latest issue of Frontiers in Energy Research. Clark is the IDREAM Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) Deputy Director and Washington State University professor. The article, titled "Art, Science and an Off-the-Grid Childhood," was written by IDREAM member Daniel Pope.

Chart with molecular models

Computing X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectra of Condensed Matter

(October  2017)

Researchers at the IDREAM EFRC developed a new approach called Model Order Reduction that reduces computational complexity and speeds generation of results. MOR is a novel, adaptive algorithm that uses interpolation to reduce the computational complexity associated with predicting the absorption spectrum without a noticeable reduction in accuracy.

Jaehun Chun

Jaehun Chun to Receive Lee Memorial Award

(October  2017)

Congratulations to Dr. Jaehun Chun on being honored by the Korean Institute of Chemical Engineers, U.S. Chapter, for his exceptional leadership in chemical engineering.

Water droplet and front page of paper, which is copyrighted by APS

Greg Schenter and Chris Mundy Selected for Editors' Choice Session at Prestigious Physics Gathering

(October  2017)

Congratulations to Dr. Greg Schenter and Dr. Chris Mundy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, on having their team's work chosen by the editors of the Journal of Chemical Physics for a special session at the 2018 American Physical Society Meeting.

Aurora Clark

Aurora Clark Named ACS Fellow

(September  2017)

Congratulations to Dr. Aurora Clark, IDREAM Energy Frontier Research Center Deputy Director and a Washington State University professor, on being named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society.

Sue Clark

Sue Clark Re-Elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences Board of Directors

(September  2017)

Dr. Sue Clark was elected to a second term on the Washington State Academy of Sciences Board of Directors. As a board member, she works to provide objective scientific and technological information on important issues to inform public policy and increase the role and visibility of research in the Evergreen State.

IDREAM podcast front image

IDREAM Team Creates Winning Podcast

(September  2017)

Congratulations to Aurora Clark, Scott Blasco, and Greg Schenter on creating an outstanding podcast about using sound to visualize the behavior of a troubling element in nuclear waste. Their podcast is titled Sound to Analyze, Interpret, and Understand Data from Experiment and Theory.

The Interfacial Dynamics in Radioactive Environments and Materials (IDREAM) Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) is a national resource sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE) focused on new knowledge that will fuel innovation in the treatment of the nation's high level radioactive wastes. Innovation is needed to accelerate the processing of wastes that have been stored in large underground tanks for decades.

To address this environmental challenge, DOE must process millions of gallons of highly radioactive wastes that have been aging in a radiation environment for decades. At the Hanford site in particular, waste characteristics vary significantly from tank to tank, and within a tank, the materials are highly stratified. The behavior of these materials during removal and processing can sometimes defy prediction. Consequently, processing plans and flow sheets are limited to narrow conditions that are slow and costly.

IDREAM seeks to fill knowledge gaps in molecular speciation, interfacial structure and reactivity, and particle interactions under the harsh chemical conditions that are relevant to the waste tanks. This includes extremely high alkalinity, high concentrations of electrolytes, and ionizing radiation. Science challenges include:

  • Discovering the chemical and physical phenomena that drive the dissolution, nucleation, and precipitation of solid phases under these extreme conditions
  • Exploiting these phenomena to control and accelerate the removal and processing of materials in complex environments that include limited water activity, concentrated electrolytes, and ionizing radiation.

Scientific Strategy

IDREAM's approach will be focused on four main research goals addressing challenges at the molecular, aggregate, and interfacial scales. Additionally, cross-cutting computational activities will support integration across scales.

strategy image


Addressing these science questions enables innovation in various energy sectors.

  • Environmental Management: Expand operating envelopes for radioactive waste processing and predict long-term material aging in radiation environments
  • Nuclear Energy: Predictive understanding to design new, radiation-resistant or radiation-tuned materials for nuclear energy systems

IDREAM Research Center

Research Goals



Master molecular-to-mesoscale chemical and physical phenomena at interfaces in complex environments characterized by extremes in alkalinity and low-water activity, and driven far from equilibrium by ionizing radiation.

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