Science at the Local keeps nuclear option on the table

The science of nuclear waste is the topic of the next Science at the Local webinar, to be held online on November 29.

Speaking will be nuclear chemist Dr Jessica Veliscek-Carolan, who researches spent fuel management at ANSTO, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

"Most people have probably heard something about nuclear waste, but they mightn't have heard it from a scientist," said Science at the Local co-founder Hamish Clarke. "This is a great chance to do that."

Dr Jessica Veliscek-Carolan

Dr Jessica Veliscek-Carolan

Dr Veliscek-Carolan did her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Sydney after working on ANSTO's graduate program. She now researches novel materials that could be used to treat nuclear waste, with a lot of the elements in spent nuclear fuel still potentially useful if they can be selectively separated out.

"These materials need to be tolerant to acid and radiation to be useful in a nuclear context," said Dr Veliscek-Carolan.

"They have wide ranging potential applications beyond treatment of nuclear waste, such as in mining and wastewater clean-up."

"We're crossing our fingers we can hold some in person events next year," said fellow Science at the Local co-founder Kevin Joseph. "But for now we're happy to be offering some great speakers and topics in by webinar. Let's see what 2021 brings."

The talk, held from 2.30-3.30pm, is free. To register and find out more, go to

The initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia and the NSW Government.