SRNL names Dr. Christine Langton2019 Donald Orth Award recipient

November 7, 2019

AIKEN, S.C. (November 7, 2019) – Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) has announced that Dr. Christine Langton is the 2019 recipient of the Donald Orth Lifetime Achievement Award for her work in cementitious materials science to stabilize radioactive waste and nuclear materials.

The award was announced during the laboratory’s annual recognition event, SRNL Celebration of Success, hosted earlier this month at the Rose Hill restaurant in Aiken, where more than 100 researchers, engineers, scientists and mission support personnel were recognized for scientific and technical excellence. More than 60 SRNL patent winners were also acknowledged during the event.

The Orth Award is the highest honor given by the laboratory for technical excellence and leadership. 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,” said SRNL Laboratory Director Dr. Vahid Majidi. “She has made the world safer through science.”

Dr. 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.

Dr. Langton has provided solutions to legacy waste management problems at the Savannah River Site (SRS) and numerous other DOE sites. 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 DOE Complex and the world, including Japan, Australia, Canada, China, and Brazil. As part of a team of SRNL nuclear clean- up experts assisting Tokyo Electric Power Company to develop and deploy strategies to enable recovery from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, Dr. Langton served as principal advisor on the use of cement to seal leaks into and out of the damaged reactors.

Dr. 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 this capacity, Dr. Langton and an SRNL team supported efforts in Brazil for borehole disposal of sealed sources.

In 2016, Dr. 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.


Media contact: SRNL Media Relations