Dr. Christine Langton is the 2019 recipient of the Donald Orth Lifetime Achievement Award by the Savannah River National Laboratory for her work in cementitious materials science to stabilize radioactive waste and nuclear materials.
The award was announced earlier this month at the laboratory’s annual SRNL Celebration of Success, where more than 100 researchers, engineers, scientists and mission support personnel were recognized for scientific and technical excellence.
The Orth Award is the highest honor given by the laboratory for technical excellence and leadership, according to a Savannah River Site release. Established in 1993, the award was named for the late Dr. Donald Orth, who retired from SRNL in 1992 after a distinguished 41-year career. The award was established to honor an individual “who by character and leadership best exemplifies Dr. Orth’s character and contributions.”
“For many years, Dr. Langton’s expertise in cementitious materials science has been instrumental in the success of some of the most challenging site, national and international nuclear risk reduction efforts,” SRNL Laboratory Director Vahid Majid said in the release. “She has made the world safer through science.”
Langton is internationally recognized as an expert in designing innovative materials and processes for treating radioactive waste and specialty grouts and concretes for radioactive waste tank closure and nuclear facility deactivation and decommissioning projects. She has provided solutions to legacy waste management problems at SRS and numerous other Department of Energy sites, the release states. Her contributions range from experimental results that further the mechanistic understanding of material performance under realistic exposure conditions to field implementation strategies and planning.
Her expertise as a consultant has been applied throughout the world. As part of a team of SRNL nuclear cleanup experts assisting Tokyo Electric Power Company to develop and deploy strategies to enable recovery from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, Langton served as principal adviser on the use of cement to seal leaks into and out of the damaged reactors.
Langton’s recent focus has been in reducing the danger associated with nuclear waste inventory in nuclearized and non-nuclearized countries with small amounts of radioactive waste and limited or no radioactive waste disposal capabilities.
In 2016, Langton was presented with the Fred C. Davison Distinguished Scientist Award from Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness. She has also been recognized for participation in the International Atomic Energy Agency missions on radioactive waste treatment, next-generation fuel cycle waste management, low- and intermediate-level waste conditioning for final disposal, and technology for waste treatment training for China.