VIDEO: Heinrich Presses DOE Environmental Secretary Nominee On WIPP Recovery, LANL Cleanup

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich. Screen Shot/LADP

Dr. Monica Regalbuto. Screen Shot/LADP


WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing to confirm Dr. Monica C. Regalbuto as Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environmental Management, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., focused his questions to the nominee on WIPP recovery and opportunities for local small businesses to participate in cleanup efforts at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

VIDEO: Watch Senator Heinrich’s Exchange with Assistant Secretary of Energy for Environmental Management nominee Dr. Monica C. Regalbuto [Download HD Video] [Download Audio]

WIPP in Carlsbad, is the only active facility in the United States that disposes defense-generated transuranic (TRU) waste. The facility halted operations in February 2014 following two separate accidents – a fire and a radiation release.

Heinrich has been a leading voice in making WIPP recovery a priority. Last August, Heinrich joined Secretary Moniz at WIPP for an “all hands” employee meeting, surface tour, and townhall with Carlsbad residents. He also continues to support strong annual funding for the cleanup work at Los Alamos, subcontracting with local small businesses, regional economic development and community engagement.

About Dr. Monica Regalbuto

Dr. Monica Regalbuto was named Associate Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) in June 2014. In this role, Dr. Regalbuto leads EM’s mission units and applies her technical expertise to advance EM’s cleanup mission across the DOE complex.

Dr. Regalbuto previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fuel Cycle Technologies in the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy, where she directed a research and development program comprising 10 national laboratories, 32 universities, over 400 scientists, and 300 professors. Dr. Regalbuto also has experience supporting EM as Senior Program Manager in the former Office of Waste Processing, overseeing technical risk reduction in the cleanup programs. 

From 2003 to 2008, Dr. Regalbuto managed a group of 30 researchers as head of the Process Chemistry and Engineering Department in Argonne National Laboratory’s Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division. Argonne — part of DOE’s network of national laboratories — was where Dr. Regalbuto began her career in 1988. There, she helped develop technologies for the treatment of high-level waste at DOE plutonium production sites.

As a researcher, she made key contributions to nuclear fuel-cycle technology, including the development of the UREX+ processes, a suite of solvent extraction processes for the recovery of actinides and fission products from spent fuel. Dr. Regalbuto also led research directly related to EM’s mission, such as the successful demonstration of the Caustic-Side Solvent Extraction process that separates cesium-137 from high-level radioactive waste. Dr. Regalbuto has authored multiple journal articles and reports and holds six patents.