Dr. Kathryn Peruski joined Oak Ridge National Laboratory in 2020 as a postdoctoral research associate and converted to staff in 2021. She is currently an R&D Associate in Radiochemistry in the Fuel Cycle Chemical Technology Group within the Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division of the Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate. Dr. Peruski’s research interests center around actinide materials chemistry and characterization with application to a variety of mission spaces, including nuclear fuel cycle chemical processing, isotope production, and nuclear nonproliferation science. Some of her current projects include characterization of Np-237 target materials in support of Pu-238 production, analysis of uranium materials towards nuclear fuel recycling process development, and solvent extraction chemistry for nuclear fuel processing. Previously as a postdoctoral research associate at ORNL, Dr. Peruski was involved in projects for the development of a uranium hexafluoride gas handling system for laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy measurements and non-destructive assay of uranium hexafluoride for enrichment verification. Outside of her work projects, Dr. Peruski is an active member of the American Chemical Society in the Nuclear Chemistry and Technology Division, as well as the Society of Women Engineers.
In 2020, Dr. Peruski received her PhD in Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences with a concentration in radiochemistry from Clemson University. She also received a BS in Environmental Geosciences from the University of Notre Dame in 2015. During her time at both Clemson and Notre Dame, Dr. Peruski worked as a research assistant in actinide chemistry laboratories with research emphasis on environmental and materials chemistry of actinides. She received multiple national awards and fellowships during her PhD, including a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Graduate Fellowship, a U.S. Department of Energy Innovations in Nuclear Technology R&D Award, and a Hitachi High-Technologies Electron Microscopy Graduate Fellowship. Dr. Peruski’s dissertation focused on the application of electron microscopy to actinide materials, as well as the design and operation of field-scale studies of actinide environmental fate and transport in conjunction with Savannah River National Laboratory. Her dissertation work was featured by DOE Office of Science in a Research Highlight in 2021: https://www.energy.gov/science/bes/articles/keeping-waste-where-it-belongs-grain-size-explains-how-spent-nuclear-fuel.