Reimagining the Nuclear Fuel Cycle to Support a Sustainable Nuclear Future

with Christina Leggett, Consultant, Booz Allen Hamilton

April 19, 2024, 10:10 am,
6-051 VTRC, Arlington,
1000 Torgersen Hall, Blacksburg (in-person)

For Remote Access, Register Here.

Now is an exciting time for nuclear. Global interest in deployment of new and advanced nuclear is arguably at historic heights, as evidenced by the numerous reactors under construction worldwide, the emergence of newcomer countries to nuclear, and the recent declaration by 24 countries at COP 28 to triple their existing nuclear capacity by 2050. In the US, there is a high level of bipartisan support for nuclear, state and local government interest in nuclear energy, several advanced reactor companies in various stages of deployment, and significant investment in advanced reactors by DOE. However, in spite of all the focus on nuclear reactors, fuel cycle needs to support the deployment of these reactors has received comparatively less attention, and the Nation still does not have a permanent geologic repository. During this seminar I will talk about the current nuclear landscape, focusing primarily on advanced reactors and fuel cycle needs to support their deployment, and I will present a way to reimagine the nuclear fuel cycle to address these needs and support a sustainable nuclear future.

Christina Leggett is a nuclear technology consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton. In this role, she provides technical expertise to support new research and development (R&D) program development efforts at DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and manages a multi-million-dollar portfolio of ARPA-E funded R&D projects focused primarily on developing innovative technologies to reduce the volume of nuclear waste and enabling economic and secure used nuclear fuel reprocessing. Prior to joining Booz Allen Hamilton, she was a federal program manager in the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, where she managed a multi-million-dollar R&D portfolio of used nuclear fuel reprocessing and molten salt chemistry projects. She also worked at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on the NRC’s reprocessing rulemaking and on storage and transportation of nuclear waste. A passionate supporter of nuclear fuel reprocessing, she has given several presentations about the role of recycling nuclear waste to support sustainable nuclear power and reduce the volume and toxicity of nuclear waste requiring disposal. Dr. Leggett is a member of the American Nuclear Society’s Board of Directors and chairs its Fuel Cycle and Waste Management division. She holds a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from the University of California-Berkeley.