To help expand the pool of talent interested in nuclear sciences, SRNL hosted an "Actinide Chemistry Short Course" this week at the Center for Hydrogen Research near New Ellenton, which about 50 nuclear scientists from the United States and abroad attended. The actinides are a group of chemical elements that includes uranium and plutonium. Topics addressed during the course ranged from uranium mineralogy to SRS's high-level waste system to nuclear fuel reprocessing. The students were similarly diverse, including undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral associates and early-career professionals. "Nuclear power is an important part of our energy future," said SRNL's Dr. David Hobbs, one of the organizers. "We hope to interest the next generation of researchers in actinide science, which is key to that development. That's one reason this Energy Frontier Research Center is so important." The course was sponsored by the Materials Science of Actinides Energy Frontier Research Center, which is led by the University of Notre Dame and comprises five universities and four national laboratories. This center is one of 46 founded by the Department of Energy to address energy and science "grand challenges" in a broad range of research areas. Of the 46, 16 (including this one) were fully funded for five years at an average of $17 million per center by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through DOE's Office of Science. These centers are a means to enlist the talent and skills of the very best scientists and engineers to address current fundamental scientific roadblocks to U.S. energy security, DOE's website explains.