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discovered 02_2012

discovered 02.12 FOCUS WWW.Hzdr.DE Current success with proposals Currently Andreas Scheinost is not only pleased about the improved opportunities for experiments using the upgraded HZDR beamline, but was also able to score points for three larger proposed projects. Although he won’t be coordinating any of these programs that are supported by third-party funding, the participation of the HZDR in the EU-project TALISMAN as well as in two projects funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) is very honourable. In total we are looking at funding secured for the HZDR on the order of one and a half million Euros. TALISMAN Funding from the EU-project TALISMAN ensures that scientists working on the safety of future nuclear waste repositories have access to large-scale instruments and other important research facilities. With regard to the HZDR, this includes the Rossendorf beamline at the ESRF in Grenoble and the alpha laboratory with an array of spectroscopic methods of the HZDR Institute of Resource Ecology, both dedicated to the investigation of radioactive heavy metals (actinides). A substantial part of the research on the safety of high- level waste repositories deals with actinides, since they play a central role in the nuclear fuel cycle, starting with the mining of uranium and the production of nuclear fuel, through the production of nuclear energy, to the treatment and disposal of radioactive waste. Above all, research on the very complex chemistry of actinides in burnt nuclear fuel and their interaction with the environment poses a tremendous challenge. The EU-project therefore places great emphasis on the training of the next generation of scientists, to ensure that Europe maintains its leading position in actinide research in the future. TALISMAN is set up as a European pool of research facilities, where the safe handling of radioactive materials under special protective conditions can be combined with state-of-the-art analytic tools and research methods. IMMORAD This research program is funded by the BMBF within the framework of the “Förderkonzept der Grundlagenforschung Energie 2020+“ (Advanced Program for Fundamental Science in Energy Production). With the allocated funds, Andreas Scheinost plans to continue his research on plutonium under oxygen exclusion and to take up research on the actinide neptunium in his research portfolio. Implementation of actinides in ceramics for radioactive waste repository The project “Fundamental investigations towards the immobilization of long-lived radionuclides by ceramics (conditioning),“ which is also funded by the BMBF within the framework of Energie 2020+, has also been initiated to advance research on the safety of radioactive waste disposal. The underlying principle is that certain ceramics are considered to be very insoluble and stable, even after many years of exposure to high radioactive doses. Therefore, these could be used in radioactive waste repositories as host phases for particularly long-lived actinides and also exploited for their transmutation to shorter-lived or even stable radionuclides. A lot of fundamental research still needs to be conducted: first to separate the actinides from the spent nuclear fuel and second to form stable bonds with the ceramics. Andreas Scheinost will contribute to this novel research approach by working on the actinides americium and neptunium. Translated by Sarah Gwillym-Margianto