Interim Group Leader, Fuel Cycle Chemical Technology Group
Joanna McFarlane (PhD in Chemistry, 1990, University of Toronto, Canada) has been with Oak Ridge National Laboratory since 2001. Before then, she worked at the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd Whiteshell Laboratories, Manitoba, Canada. While at Whiteshell, Dr. McFarlane researched the physical chemistry of fission products, ran Knudsen cell experiments on fission product simulants (e.g., Cs2U2O4), investigated aerosol chemistry related to severe reactor accidents, and studied the transport of fission products in reactor primary heat transport systems using thermodynamic modeling. At ORNL, Dr. McFarlane is in the Process Engineering Group of the Isotope and Fuel Cycle Technology Division. Her recent experience in nuclear research is related to the chemistry of fission products in molten salt reactors, the purification and characterization of molten salts, and the measurement of thermochemical and thermophysical properties. She has also assisted with the separation of Pu-238 from irradiated Np-237 target materials supporting NASA’s future deep space missions. In particular, she studied the dissolution kinetics of aluminum alloy cladding and the spectroscopic detection of hydroxylamine nitrate, its reactivity in nitric acid, and its reaction kinetics as a function of temperature. She has also participated in a wide variety of projects: the magnetic separation of UO2 particles; the production of biodiesel using a centrifugal contactor; the development of a high temperature organic heat transfer fluid for concentrating solar power; and has ongoing interest in fluid-rock interactions relevant both to nuclear waste disposal and petroleum extraction.