Plutonium Futures – The Science 2022 was the eleventh in a conference series initiated by Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1997, with the first meeting held in Santa Fe, New Mexico. 25 years later, in 2022, the conference was held in the Pope’s Palace conference center of Avignon, France from September 26th to 29th.

This important conference aims at strengthening international dialogue between scientists on the fundamental properties of plutonium and their technological consequences. It is undoubtedly the largest global conference combining the physics and chemistry of plutonium and the transuranic elements.

After the scheduled 2020 conference was cancelled due to the COVID-19 health crisis, organization was entrusted again to CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) in 2022. Two other —historical European partners (Atomic Weapons Establishment and JRC-Karlsruhe), along with the Program Committee and the International Advisory Committee, helped ensure that the conference featured research talks of the highest quality from around the globe. The 2022 conference brought together more than 230 participants, with recognized experts, post-doctoral researchers, and doctoral students who gave 90 talks and 60 poster presentations.

During the conference, scientific exchanges were numerous and constructive, with two parallel sessions focusing on the historical themes of the conference: Condensed Matter Physics, Surface Science and Corrosion, Metallurgy and Materials Science Compounds, Complexes and Coordination Chemistry, Detection and Analysis, Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Environmental Behavior and Chemistry, and Solution and Gas-phase Chemistry. Plenary sessions brought together the communities of chemists and physicists around more general presentations. The poster session, with significant time devoted to discussion, was very popular, particularly thanks to the young researchers who showed great enthusiasm for sharing their research.

The papers selected for this special issue of Actinide Research Quarterly represent some of the many stimulating research talks presented at the conference, addressing the fundamental chemistry of plutonium but also including studies directly linked to the nuclear fuel cycle or the detection and analysis of radioelements.

The success of this conference is the result of the involvement of all the participants, of course, but also the hard work of the people who participated in the organization whom I would like to thank here. I would also like to acknowledge the various committees that helped select the speakers and organize the oral presentations and poster sessions, and we hope to see you all in Charleston, SC for the 2024 edition that will be held from September 8th to 12th, 2024.

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— Philippe Guilbaud, Chair of Plutonium Futures 2022, Research Director and Scientific Assistant of the DMRC, France