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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T011300/1
Title: National Nuclear User Facility: Radioactive Waste Disposal and Environmental Remediation (RADER).
Principal Investigator: Morris, Professor K
Other Investigators:
Shaw, Professor S Heath, Professor SL Lloyd, Professor JR
Livens, Professor F
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Earth Atmospheric and Env Sciences
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 01 November 2019 Ends: 31 May 2023 Value (£): 2,318,957
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Nuclear
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
12 Aug 2019 National Nuclear User Facility Phase 2 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The ability to handle and characterise complex environmental samples which are radioactive lies at the heart of nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management research yet there is a paucity of such facilities in the UK. Central to the study of these materials is the ability to access a range of instruments to allow characterisation of their radiological and environmental characteristics across a wide range of techniques including radiometric, solution and solids analysis. In addition, facilities which allow radioactive sample manipulation under controlled conditions, and radioactive sample preparation for optimal sample analysis are core to enabling high quality research.

In the NNUF2 facility RADER, we will enable environmental radioactivity research by creating a suite of laboratories dedicated to radioactive sample handling and environmental analysis. Notably, the dedicated characterisation instrumentation in RADER will be able to accept materials with a range of radionuclides. This unique facility will allow straightforward access to analyses which are currently unavailable in the UK community for radioactive samples. RADER will also work with other NNUF2 user capabilities to analyse radioactive, environmental samples at the atomic scale (using electron microscopy and X-ray absorption spectroscopy techniques) and to allow e.g. irradiation of samples in the study of the impacts of radiation chemistry on radionuclide speciation and fate. In combination with the RADER capabilities, this will allow seamless analysis of complex environmental samples from the atomic, through the microscopic and bulk structure, essential if we are to build robust mechanistic understanding of radionuclide behaviour in engineered and natural environments to underpin radioactive waste management and environmental remediation research.

RADER will enable environmental radioactivity research from model experimental systems focussed on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of effluent treatment and microbial interactions in high hazard spent nuclear fuel ponds, through contaminated site studies focussed on understanding transport of radionuclides in the shallow sub-surface over decadal timescales, and including work on radionuclide mobility in the subsurface relating to deep geological disposal of higher activity radioactive wastes. It will also enable us to work with authentic, radioactive site materials and samples to further understand long term speciation and fate in engineered and natural environments. The research outputs from this new world class capability will underpin national efforts in radioactive waste disposal and environmental remediation at a critical time.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk