NE Seminar: “The Evolving Nuclear Fuel Cycle – Challenges and Opportunities”

Date(s) - 03/17/2022
1:55 pm - 2:55 pm

Rhines 125


Monica Regalbuto, Ph.D.

Director, Integrated Fuel Cycle Strategy
Idaho National Laboratory

Dr. Monica Regalbuto is a leader in the development of nuclear fuel cycle technologies, combining her knowledge in separations, computer simulations, and proliferation risk reduction. She has over 30 years of experience in radio-isotope processing, recovery and immobilization for environmental remediation, resource conservation and medical applications. She currently leads the integrated fuel cycle strategic initiative at the Idaho National Laboratory. Dr. Regalbuto serves today as a member of (1) the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and (2) the Standing Advisory Group on Nuclear Energy (SAGNE) at the IAEA which advises the Director General. Dr. Regalbuto has served in multiple national leadership roles. In 2015, she was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Environmental Management for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In this capacity, she was responsible for managing the environmental cleanup resulting from weapons production as well as special nuclear materials. As the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fuel Cycle Technologies with DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy, Dr. Regalbuto managed the nation’s research and development fuel cycle portfolio. At Argonne National Laboratory, Dr. Regalbuto served as the head of the Process Chemistry and Engineering Department in the Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division. She is an INL and American Nuclear Society fellow and has authored multiple journal articles, reports, and presentations and holds six patents.


The United States is pursuing an aggressive plan to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions in which nuclear power is set to play a vital role. Accelerated development of advanced reactor designs introduces evolving nuclear fuel cycles that deviate from the commercially established light water reactor.

As new fuel cycles and technologies emerge, both challenges and opportunities are presented. This presentation will cover the importance of addressing the fuel cycle’s front-end and back-end emerging concepts to ensure the successful deployment of advanced reactors.