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DeeEarl Vaden

Chemical Engineering

Research Areas:


DeeEarl Vaden is a chemical engineer employed in the Pyroprocessing Department.  His work location is the Materials and Fuels Complex at the Idaho National Laboratory.  From 1984 to 1994, Mr. Vaden worked at the Experimental Breeder Reactor II (EBR II) performing data analysis from of sample results and equipment monitoring the primary and secondary sodium, water, and argon cover gas.  From 1994 to present, he has been employed in the treatment of spent nuclear fuel from EBR II and the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF) via electrorefining. Mr. Vaden, as a principal investigator, has conducted experiments in FCF to optimize spent fuel treatment.  His extensive knowledge of software and programming languages (UNIX, Fortran 77, Fortran 90, C, and Sequential Query Language) has allowed him to develop processing models for the Fuel Conditioning Facility (FCF) Mass Tracking System (MTG) to assist the operators in the processing of spent nuclear fuel.  Mr. Vaden is presently the MTG Software Technical Lead and an MTG software developer.  His knowledge of Excel, Access, and Visual Basic for Applications) provides the ability to analyze data from the MTG and the results of FCF samples.

Mr. Vaden has more than 25 years of experience working for INL, including more than ten years of chemical engineering experience analyzing sample results data from equipment monitoring the primary and secondary liquid metal coolant, water (power plant), and argon (reactor cover gas) systems at the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II. He has more than 15 years of chemical engineering experience in electrorefining spent nuclear fuel, with expertise in developing process parameters, interfacing with modeling personnel, overseeing facility operations and analyzing test results. He holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Colorado School of Mines and an M.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Arizona. He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Outside of work, he enjoys woodworking and gardening.


​M.S., Chemical Engineering - University of Arizona

 B.S., Chemical Engineering - Colorado School of Mines


​American Institute of Chemical Engineers


​Randolph, A. D.; Stewart D.; Vaden, D. E.; “Improved Crystal Size Distribution of Gypsum from Flue Gas Desulfurization Liquors”; AiChE Symposium Series (United States); January 1984.


Vaden, D. E.; “Calibrating a Vacuum Ionization Gauge for Hydrogen Using a Frit-Type Plugging Meter”; Nuclear Technology, December 1989.


Goff, K.M., Mariani, R.D., Vaden, D.; Bonomo, N.L., Cunningham, S.S., Fuel Conditioning Facility Electrorefiner Start-Up Results, Proceedings of the Embedded Topical Meeting on DOE Spent Nuclear Fuel and Fissile Material Managemnt, Reno, Nevada, June 16-20, 1996.


Vaden, D. E.; “Plugging Temperature Indicator Computer Simulation”, Transactions of the American Nuclear Society, December 1996.


Mariani, R. D., Li, S. X., Vaden, DeeEarl, Wesphal, B. R., Maddison, D. W., Selected Uranium Product Characteristics for the EBR-II Spent Fuel Treatment Program, American Nuclear Society Winter Meeting, Albequerque, NM, November 16-20, 1997.


Li, S. X., Vaden, D., Mariani, R. D., Johnson, T. A., Experimental Observations on the Role of the Cadmium Pool in Mark-IV ER, American Nuclear Society 4th Topical Meeting - DOE Spent Nuclear Fuel and Fissle Material Management, San Diego, CA, 2000.


Ahluwalia, Rajesh K.; Hua, Thanh Q.; Vaden, DeeEarl, “Uranium Transport in a High-Throughput Electrorefiner for EBR-II Blanket Fuel, Nuclear Technology, January 2004.


Li, S. X., Johnson, T. A., Benedict, R. W., Vaden, D., Westphal, B. R., Integrated Electrorefining Efficiency Test for Pyrochemical Fuel Cycle, Transactions of the American Nuclear Society - 2006 Winter Meeting.


Vaden, DeeEarl, Fuel Conditioning Facility Electrorefiner Process Model, Separation Science and Technology, Vol. 41, No. 10, pp. 2003-2012, June 2006.


Solbrig, C. W., Vaden, DeeEarl, Electrorefiner Liquid Cadmium Cathode Crucible Thermal Shock, Separation Science and Technology, Vol. 41, No. 10, pp. 1985-2001, June 2006.


Li, S. X., Vaden, D., Benedict, R. W., Goff, K. M., Electrochemical Dissolution of Spent EBR-II Driver Fuel in Molten Salt Electrolyte, Journal of New Materials for Electrochemical Systems, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp. 259-268.


J. C. Price, D. Vaden, R. W. Benedict, “Engineering-Scale Distillation of Cadmium for Actinide Recovery”, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, October 2007.


D. Vaden and S. X. Li, “Determining Bond Sodium Remaining in Plenum Region of EBR-II Spent Nuclear Driver Fuel,” Trans. American Nuclear Society, Vol. 98, pp. 138, Anaheim, CA (2008).


D. Vaden, S. X. Li, B. R. Westphal, K. B, Davies, T. A. Johnson, and D. M. Pace, ‘Engineering Scale Liquid Cadmium Cathode Experiments,” Journal of Nuclear Technology, Vol. 162, No. 2, pp. 124 (2008).


Vaden, DeeEarl, ‘Fuel Conditioning Facility Electrorefiner Model Predictions versus Measurements’, Separation Science and Technology, Vol. 43, No.:9, 2684-2694, July 2008.


S. X. Li, D. Vaden, B. R. Westphal, G. L. Fredrickson, R. W. Benedict, and T. A. Johnson, “Integrated Efficiency Test for Advanced Fuel Cycles,” Nuclear Technology, Vol. 166, May 2009


D. Vaden, R. D. Mariani, “Modeled Salt Density for Nuclear Material Estimation in the Treatment of Spent Nuclear Fuel”, Journal of Nuclear Materials, September 2010.


Research Interests:

​Treatment of Spent Nuclear Fuel
Mass Tracking
Material Control and Accountability

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