Environmental Science Division (EVS)a Division of Argonne National Laboratory

Radiation and Chemical Risk Management

EVS helps meet the challenge of protecting human health and the environment through the management of risk associated with radiation and chemicals in the environment.

Protecting human health, welfare, and the environment in a world affected by energy production and technology is a global challenge. EVS helps to meet this challenge through research and analysis on the management of risk associated with radiation and chemicals in the environment.

To improve the management of risk associated with nuclear and chemical materials and wastes at contaminated sites, we develop information and tools that support decision making related to health, safety, environmental, economic, and social-cultural concerns.

Nuclear Materials and Waste Disposition

EVS researches degradation mechanisms of nuclear materials under service conditions and assesses options for disposing of radioactive and hazardous wastes. These studies address management of aging reactor internals in nuclear power plants, as well as recycling and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and low-level radioactive wastes.

We apply our expertise in environmental and safety reviews by assisting with federal licensing and license renewals for reactors and nuclear fuel cycle facilities.

Modeling and Analytics

In modeling studies of the risks posed by the use, storage, transport, disposal, and release of hazardous materials to the environment, EVS applies the latest analytic methods and technologies.

We develop models for predicting the behavior of contaminants in complex hydrogeological and meteorological systems, analyzing the movement of hazardous materials in the environment, determining compliance with regulatory dose criteria, and evaluating remediation technologies for contaminated sites.

Fate and Effects of Radiation and Chemicals

EVS analyzes the risk associated with residual radiation and chemical contamination at cleaned-up environmental sites and develops approaches for managing this risk. Decision makers use risk-based criteria we developed to identify sustainable alternatives for future use of the sites. In formulating the criteria, we develop approaches and analyze cumulative risks from multiple exposure pathways, media, and agents.

Our work helps decision makers select the best options for a site, including reuse, cleanup, and waste release. We also address focused health issues such as subsistence consumption of seafood harvested from potentially contaminated waters.