Projects: Projects for InvestigatorUKERC Home UKERC Energy Data Centre Projects Choose Investigator All Projects involving NE/H007768/1
|Title||BIogeochemical Gradients and RADionuclide transport. BIGRAD|
|Energy Categories||NUCLEAR FISSION and FUSION(Nuclear Fission, Nuclear supporting technologies) 100%;|
|Research Types||Basic and strategic applied research 100%|
|Science and Technology Fields||PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 50%;
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences) 50%;
|UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation||Not Cross-cutting 100%|
Dr K (Katherine ) Morris
No email address given
Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences
University of Manchester
|Start Date||01 October 2010|
|End Date||30 September 2014|
|Total Grant Value||£1,721,038|
|Industrial Sectors||No relevance to Underpinning Sectors; Transport Systems and Vehicles|
|Programme||Biodiversity, Environmental Risks and Hazards, Pollution and Waste|
|Investigators||Principal Investigator||Dr K (Katherine ) Morris , Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester (99.997%)|
|Other Investigator||Professor F Livens , Chemistry, University of Manchester (0.001%)
Dr N (Nicholas ) Bryan , Chemistry, University of Manchester (0.001%)
Professor JR (Jonathan ) Lloyd , Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester (0.001%)
|Objectives||The following grants are linked : NE/H005927/1 NE/H007768/1 NE/H007113/1 NE/H006494/1 NE/H006540/1 NE/H005617/1
UK Government will now dispose of high level and intermediate level radioactive wastes in a geological disposal facility (GDF). A key characteristic of the UK GDF concept for intermediate level waste is the role of cementitious backfill, intended to maintain strongly alkalin egroundwater conditionsin the GDF environment. The biogeochemical gradients that will develop across the poorly understood interface between an alkaline, deep GDF and the geosphere (in the Chemically Disturbed Zone; CDZ) will be critical controls on radionuclide behaviour and transport, and thus on the safety and environmental impact of a GDF. It is this CDZ that is the focus of this consortium.
These objectives are then split into 3 complemen tary work packages:
WP1 Geosphere Evolution, where our specific objectives are:
WP2 Radionuclide Form Reaction and Transport, where our specific objectives are, for the CDZ, to define:
WP3 Synthesis and Application, where our specific objectives are:
Knowledge transfer permeates all of our objectives, and we have a clear statem ent of our KT related objectives in our impact plan.
Overall, this consortium will deliver world class strategic science that will significantly advance the UK capability for decision-making on repository design, site management and environmental risk posed by a geological disposal facility.
Over 50+ years of nuclear power generation and weapons development, the UK has created large quantities of radioactive wastes. In terms of total volume, the largest fraction (> 90 %) of the higher activity waste is Intermediate Level Waste (ILW). ILW does not produce heat but contains long-lived radioisotopes, and so cannot be disposed of near the Earth's surface. The Government has recently decided that the UK’s ILW should be disposed of underground (200 - 1000 m) in a “Geological Disposal Facility” (GDF). The safety of a GDF depends on slowing the return of radioactivity from the GDF to Earth surface. It is therefore key to understand the processes which control the movement of radioactivity out of the GDF and through the surrounding rock.
In this project, we will try andunderstand how the CDZ will evolve over thousands to millions of years, so we can predict the movement of radioactivity through it, and help assess the safety of the GDF. To do this, we need to study the chemical, physical and biological changes which occur as the CDZ develops, and the way in which these different factors interact with each other. We will use experiments to understand theseprocesses and,based on these, we will develop computer models to predict what will happen in the future. We have divided our work programme into three parts: 1 Geosphere Evolution, where we will examine rock and mineral interactions, and how water flow within the rock is affected by chemical and microbiological changes caused by the water from the GDF; 2 Radionuclide Form, Reaction and Transport, wherewe will examine the chemical form and solubility of radionuclides, their interactions with microrganisms, and with rock surfaces, and the potential for microscopic particles to carry radioactivity; 3 Synthesis and Application, where we will bring all the experimental results together and design, develop and test our computer model to examine radionuclide transport in the CDZ. To ensure welink the different parts of the project effectively, we have identified two “cross cutting themes” (CCTs) - (i) biogeochemical processes in the CDZ; and (ii) predictive modelling of the CDZ, which will tie all the different pieces of work together. Our work will provide improved understanding of the controls on contaminant mobility across the CDZ, improve confidence in the safety ofgeological disposal and hence assist the UK in the crucial task of disposing of radioactive wastes.
|Added to Database||12/10/10|