NIU STEM Café to explore opportunity in nuclear waste

DeKALB – What is nuclear waste, and how is it handled and stored? How can nuclear waste be recycled to serve as a valuable resource?

Find out at the next NIU STEM Café with Argonne National Laboratory nuclear engineer Melissa Rose. The café will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at Eduardo’s Mexican Restaurant, 206 E. Lincoln Highway, DeKalb.

Rose, who earned a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering and completed a post-doctoral appointment at Argonne National Laboratory before being hired as a full-time staff member in 2017, will share some of the latest research she and her colleagues are conducting at Argonne. In particular, she’ll talk about how nuclear waste from the commercial sector is currently handled and stored, and what might be possible in the future based on current research.

“Used nuclear fuels can be recycled and are not ‘waste,’ ” Rose said. “Nuclear fuel recycling is done in other countries successfully and could be done here.”

Northern Illinois University STEM Cafés are sponsored by NIU STEAM and are designed to increase public awareness of the critical role that STEM fields play in our everyday lives. For information, call Judith Dymond at 815-753-4751 or email

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