Foto: Programm Nukleare Entsorgung und Sicherheit ©Copyright: BengsNuclear Waste Management

Energy > Nuclear Waste Management and Safety as well as Radiation Research - All Topics

Foto: Geo PET ©Copyright: HZDR/André KünzelmannScientists around the globe continue to address the question of how safe nuclear waste repositories can be established. The high significance of this research was also specified in the Federal Government’s 6th Energy Research Program. The research conducted by the HZDR scientists is designed to protect people and the environment from the hazards associated with radioactivity entering into the bio and geosphere. In order to predict precisely the possible dispersion of radionuclides in the environment and at potential nuclear waste repository sites, researchers need to know much more about these highly complex processes.

For example, it is a particular challenge to improve the understanding and knowledge of the biologically influenced transportation of long-lived radionuclides in the geosphere and their behavior in such diverse biosystems as bacteria, plants or the human organism. This is the only way to avoid environmental hazards and health risks. The following questions are of primary interest in this context: What happens at the interface of bio- and geosystems? How do radionuclides behave in diverse biosystems? When do they enter the food chain? The scientists seek to answer these and other questions to meet their objective: Making better predictions on the safety of potential nuclear waste repository sites.

The quality of these predictions for nuclear waste repositories essentially depends on the availability of the necessary data. That is why the HZDR researchers are partners in the THEREDA project which fosters and promotes the creation of a comprehensive, quality-assured data bank for potential nuclear waste repository sites.


  • Better understanding of the processes for the long-term safety analysis of nuclear repositories in deep geological formations
  • Developing new equipment systems to gain a better understanding of the processes for dispersing radionuclides in the bio- and geosystems at the molecular and cellular level
  • Determination of data for the long-term safety analysis of nuclear repositories

Press Releases

Involved HZDR institutes




  • Jing, Y.; Heine, T.
    Making 2D topological polymers a reality
    Nature Materials 19(2020), 823-824 (10.1038/s41563-020-0690-z)
  • Batra, K.; Zahn, S.; Heine, T.
    Benchmark of Simplified Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory for UV–Vis Spectral Properties of Porphyrinoids
    Advanced Theory and Simulations 3(2020)1, 1900192 (10.1002/adts.201900192)
  • Arcudia, J.; Kempt, R.; Eduardo Cifuentes-Quintal, M. et al.
    Blue Phosphorene Bilayer Is a Two-Dimensional Metal and an Unambiguous Classification Scheme for Buckled Hexagonal Bilayers
    Physical Review Letters 125(2020)19, 196401 (10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.196401)
  • Jäschke, A.; Stumpf, T.; Aliabadi, A. et al.
    Tetranuclear Lanthanide Complexes Supported by Hydroxyquinoline-Calix[4]arene-Ligands: Synthesis, Structure, and Magnetic Properties of [Ln₄(H₃L)₂(µ-OH)₂(NO₃)₄] (Ln = Tb, Dy, Yb) and [Dy₂(H₄L)₂(NO₃)](NO₃)
    European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry 2020(2020)44, 4203-4214 (10.1002/ejic.202000718)
  • Radoske, T.; März, J.; Patzschke, M. et al.
    Bonding Trends in Tetravalent Th–Pu Monosalen Complexes
    Chemistry - A European Journal 26(2020)70, 16853-16859 (10.1002/chem.202003241)
  • Scheibe, B.; Patzschke, M.; März, J. et al.
    A Molecular Octafluoridoneptunate(IV) anion in (NH₄)₄[NpF₈] and Theoretical Investigations of the [MF₈]₄-System (M = Th - Bk)
    European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry 39(2020), 3753-3759 (10.1002/ejic.202000565)
  • Henfling, S.; Kempt, R.; Klose, J. et al.
    The dithiol-dithione tautomerism of 2,3-pyrazinedithiol in the synthesis of copper and silver coordination compounds
    Inorganic Chemistry 59(2020)22, 16441-16453 (10.1021/acs.inorgchem.0c02203)
  • Trindade Pedrosa, E.; Fischer, C.; Morales, L. F. et al.
    Influence of chemical zoning on sandstone calcite cement dissolution: The case of manganese and iron
    Chemical Geology 559(2020), 119952 (10.1016/j.chemgeo.2020.119952)
  • Belskaya, O. B.; Zaikovskii, V. I.; Gulyaeva, T. I. et al.
    The effect of Pd(II) chloride complexes anchoring on the formation and properties of Pd/MgAlOx catalysts
    Journal of Catalysis 392(2020), 108-118 (10.1016/j.jcat.2020.09.021)
  • Berardi, S.; Kesavan, J. K.; Amidani, L. et al.
    Better Together: Ilmenite/Hematite Junctions for Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation
    ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 12(2020)42, 47435-47446 (10.1021/acsami.0c12275)
  • Griebsch, A.; Matschiavelli, N.; Lewandowska, S. et al.
    Presence of Bradyrhizobium sp. under continental conditions in Central Europe
    Agriculture 10(2020)10, 446 (10.3390/agriculture10100446)
  • Kloditz, R.; Fichter, S.; Kaufmann, S. et al.
    Series of Tetravalent Actinide Amidinates: Structure Determination and Bonding Analysis.
    Inorganic Chemistry 59(2020)21, 15670-15680 (10.1021/acs.inorgchem.0c01969)
  • Bacic, V.; Heine, T.; Kuc, A. B.
    Analytical Approach to Phonon Calculations in the SCC-DFTB Framework
    Journal of Chemical Physics 153(2020), 144109 (10.1063/5.0023666)
  • Heidsiek, M.; Butscher, C.; Blum, P. et al.
    Small-scale diagenetic facies heterogeneity controls porosity and permeability pattern in reservoir sandstones
    Environmental Earth Sciences 79(2020), 425 (10.1007/s12665-020-09168-z)
  • Monico, L.; Cotte, M.; Vanmeert, F. et al.
    Damages induced by synchrotron radiation-based X-ray microanalysis in chrome yellow paints and related Cr-compounds: assessment, quantification and mitigation strategies
    Analytical Chemistry 92(2020)20, 14164-14173 (10.1021/acs.analchem.0c03251)
  • Martin, A.; Hassan-Loni, Y.; Fichtner, A. et al.
    An integrated approach combining soil profile, records and tree ring analysis to identify the origin of environmental contamination in a former uranium mine (Rophin, France)
    Science of the Total Environment 747(2020), 141295 (10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.141295)
  • Wyżga, P.; Carrillo-Cabrera, W.; Akselrud, L. et al.
    Crystal structure, phase transition and properties of indium (III) sulfide
    Dalton Transactions 49(2020)44, 15903-15913 (10.1039/d0dt03302b)
  • Kretzschmar, J.; Tsushima, S.; Drobot, B. et al.
    Trimeric uranyl(VI)–citrate forms Na+, Ca2+, and La3+ sandwich complexes in aqueous solution
    Chemical Communications 56(2020), 13133-13136 (10.1039/D0CC05460G)
  • Liu, J.; Zhou, Y.; She, J. et al.
    Quantitative isotopic fingerprinting of thallium associated with potentially toxic elements (PTEs) in fluvial sediment cores with multiple anthropogenic sources
    Environmental Pollution 266(2020), 115252 (10.1016/j.envpol.2020.115252)
  • Mandal, K.; Bansal, D.; Kumar, Y. et al.
    Halogen Bonded Assemblies of Arylene-imides and -diimides: Insight from Electronic, Structural and Computational studies
    Chemistry - A European Journal 26(2020)46, 10607-10619 (10.1002/chem.202001706)
  • Chaudhari, T.; Mallampudi, N.; Bansal, D. et al.
    Protecting-Group-Directed Diastereo- and Enantioselective Approach to Substituted Chiral Tetrahydropyrroloquinolines.
    European Jounal of Organic Chemistry 18(2020), 2771-2780 (10.1002/ejoc.202000348)
  • Lange, T.; Schneider, P.; Schymura, S. et al.
    The fate of anthropogenic nanoparticles, nTiO2 and nCeO2, in waste water treatment
    Water 12(2020)9, 2509 (10.3390/w12092509)
  • Trigub, A. L.; Trofimov, N. D.; Tagirov, B. R. et al.
    Probing the local atomic structure of In and Cu in sphalerite by XAS spectroscopy enhanced by reverse Monte-Carlo algorithm
    Minerals 10(2020)10, 841 (10.3390/min10100841)
  • Knaus, J.; Sommer, M.; Duchstein, P. et al.
    Polar structure formation in solid solution of strontium substituted fluorapatite-gelatin composites: from structural and morphogenetic aspects to pyroelectric properties
    Chemistry of Materials 32(2020)19, 8619-8632 (10.1021/acs.chemmater.0c02993)
  • Boulanger, N.; Kuzenkova, A. S.; Iakunkov, A. et al.
    Enhanced Sorption of Radionuclides by Defect-Rich Graphene Oxide
    ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces 12(2020)40, 45122-45135 (10.1021/acsami.0c11122)
  • Trofimov, N. D.; Trigub, A. L.; Tagirov, B. R. et al.
    The state of trace elements (In, Cu, Ag) in sphalerite studied by X-ray absorption spectroscopy of synthetic minerals
    Minerals 10(2020)7, 640 (10.3390/min10070640)
  • Robba, A.; Barchasza, C.; Bučar, K. et al.
    Fingerprinting mean composition of lithium polysulfide standard solutions by applying high energy resolution fluorescence detected X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy
    The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 11(2020), 5446-5450 (10.1021/acs.jpclett.0c01120)
  • Wulf, T.; Heine, T.
    Small Crown-Ether Complexes as Molecular Models for Dihydrogen Adsorption in Undercoordinated Extraframework Cations in Zeolites
    Journal of Physical Chemistry C 124(2020)17, 9409-9415 (10.1021/acs.jpcc.0c02815)
  • An, Y.; Faria Oliveira, A.; Brumme, T. et al.
    Stone-Wales defects cause high proton permeability and isotope selectivity of single-layer graphene
    Advanced Materials 32(2020)37, 2002442 (10.1002/adma.202002442)
  • Cametti, G.; Scheinost, A.; Churakov, S. V.
    Structural Evolution of Ag-LEV Zeolite upon Heating: an in situ Single-Crystal X-ray Diffraction (SC-XRD) and X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) Study
    ACS Omega 5(2020), 31774-3178 (10.1021/acsomega.0c04455)
  • Joos, J. J.; Korthout, K.; Amidani, L. et al.
    Identification of Dy³⁺ /Dy²⁺ as electron trap in persistent phosphors
    Physical Review Letters 125(2020), 033001 (10.1103/PhysRevLett.125.033001)
  • Joos, J.; van der Heggen, D.; Martin, L. et al.
    Broadband Infrared LEDs based on Europium-To-Terbium Charge Transfer Luminescence
    Nature Communications 11(2020)1, 3647 (10.1038/s41467-020-17469-x)
  • Maiwald, M. M.; Müller, K.; Heim, K. et al.
    Determination of thermodynamic functions and structural parameters of NpO2+ lactate complexes
    New Journal of Chemistry 44(2020)39, 17033-17046 (10.1039/d0nj04291a)
  • Fichter, S.; Kaufmann, S.; Kaden, P. et al.
    Enantiomerically pure Tetravalent Neptunium Amidinates: Synthesis and Characterization
    Chemistry - A European Journal 26(2020)41, 8867-8870 (10.1002/chem.202001865)
  • Pelli Cresi, J.; Znaiguia, R.; Carlà, F. et al.
    Structure of Reduced Cerium Oxide Ultrathin films on Pt(111): Local Atomic Environment and Long-range Order
    Advanced Materials Interfaces 7(2020)18, 2000737 (10.1002/admi.202000737)
  • Scheibe, B.; März, J.; Schmidt, M. et al.
    Synthesis and crystal structures of transition metal(II) fluoridometallate(IV) hydrates of neptunium and plutonium: AIIMIVF₆∙3H₂O (AII = Mn, Zn; MIV = Np, Pu)
    European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry 23(2020), 2279-2284 (10.1002/ejic.202000298)
  • Hennig, T.; Stockmann, M.; Kühn, M.
    Simulation of diffusive uranium transport and sorption processes in the Opalinus Clay
    Applied Geochemistry 123(2020), 104777 (10.1016/j.apgeochem.2020.104777)
  • Pidchenko, I.; März, J.; Hunault, M. O. J. Y. et al.
    Synthesis, Structural, and Electronic Properties of K2PuVIO2(CO3)3(cr): An Environmentally Relevant Plutonium Carbonate Complex
    Inorganic Chemistry 59(2020)17, 11889-11893 (10.1021/acs.inorgchem.0c01335)
  • Prieur, D.; Bonani, W.; Popa, K. et al.
    Size Dependence of Lattice Parameter and Electronic Structure in CeO2 Nanoparticles
    Inorganic Chemistry 59(2020)8, 5760-5767 (10.1021/acs.inorgchem.0c00506)
  • Leinders, G.; Bes, R.; Kvashnina, K. et al.
    Local Structure in U(IV) and U(V) Environments: The Case of U3O7
    Inorganic Chemistry 59(2020)7, 4576-4587 (10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b03702)
  • Inoue, T.; Kazama, H.; Tsushima, S. et al.
    Essential Role of Heterocyclic Structure of N-Alkylated 2-Pyrrolidone Derivatives for Recycling Uranium from Spent Nuclear Fuels
    Bulletin of the Chemical Society of Japan 93(2020)7, 846-853 (10.1246/bcsj.20200061)
  • Epifano, E.; Vauchy, R.; Lebreton, R. et al.
    On the O-rich domain of the U-Am-O phase diagram
    Journal of Nuclear Materials 531(2020)1, 151986 (10.1016/j.jnucmat.2020.151986)
  • Fischer, C.; Arvidson, R. S.
    Preface of a special issue of the American Journal of Science
    American Journal of Science 320(2020)1, 3-6 (10.2475/01.2020.01)
  • Kahl, W.-A.; Yuan, T.; Bollermann, T. et al.
    Crystal surface reactivity analysis using a combined approach of X-ray micro-computed tomography and vertical scanning interferometry
    American Journal of Science 320(2020), 27-52 (10.2475/01.2020.03)
  • Traxler, L.; Wollenberg, A.; Steinhauser, G. et al.
    Survival of the basidiomycete Schizophyllum commune in soil under hostile environmental conditions in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
    Journal of Hazardous Materials 403(2020)5, 124002 (10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.124002)
  • Demnitz, M.; Hilpmann, S.; Lösch, H. et al.
    Temperature-dependent luminescence spectroscopic investigations of U(VI) complexation with the halides F- and Cl-
    Dalton Transactions 49(2020), 7109-7122 (10.1039/D0DT00646G)
  • Eibl, M.; Shaw, S.; Prieur, D. et al.
    Understanding the local structure of Eu3+ and Y3+ stabilized zirconia – Insights from luminescence and X–ray absorption spectroscopic investigations
    Journal of Materials Science 55(2020), 10095-10120 (10.1007/s10853-020-04768-3)
  • Springer, M.; Liu, T.-J.; Kuc, A. B. et al.
    Topological Two-Dimensional Polymers
    Chemical Society Reviews 49(2020)7, 2007-2019 (10.1039/c9cs00893d)
  • Qiu, C.; Chen, W.; Schmidt, M. et al.
    Selective Adsorption of Pb(II) on an Annealed Hematite (1-102) Surface: Evidence from Crystal Truncation Rod X-ray Diffraction and Density Functional Theory
    Environmental Science & Technology 54(2020)11, 6651-6660 (10.1021/acs.est.0c00060)
  • Kowalski, P. M.; Lange, S.; Deissmann, G. et al.
    Modeling of Nuclear Waste Forms: State-of-the-Art and Perspectives
    MRS Advances 5(2020), 213-222 (10.1557/adv.2020.38)
  • Kéri, A.; Dähn, R.; Marques Fernandes, M. et al.
    Iron adsorption on clays inferred from atomistic simulations and XAS spectroscopy
    Environmental Science and Technology 54(2020), 11886-11893 (10.1021/acs.est.9b07962)
  • Wyżga, P.; Veremchuk, I.; Bobnar, M. et al.
    Ternary MIn2S4 (M = Mn, Fe, Co, Ni) thiospinels - crystal structure and thermoelectric properties
    Zeitschrift für Anorganische und Allgemeine Chemie 646(2020)14, 1091-1098 (10.1002/zaac.202000014)
  • Takao, K.; März, J.; Matsuoka, M. et al.
    Crystallization of colourless hexanitratoneptunate(IV) with anhydrous H+ countercations trapped into hydrogen bond polymer with diamide linkers
    RSC Advances 10(2020), 6082-6087 (10.1039/C9RA10090C)
  • Kieffer, J.; Vals, V.; Blanc, N. et al.
    New tools for calibrating diffraction setups
    Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 27(2020), 558-566 (10.1107/S1600577520000776)
  • Kempt, R.; Kuc, A. B.; Heine, T.
    Two-Dimensional Noble-Metal Dichalcogenides and Phosphochalcogenides
    Angewandte Chemie - International Edition (2020) (10.1002/anie.201914886)
  • Estevenon, P.; Kaczmarek, T.; Rafiuddin, M. R. et al.
    Soft hydrothermal synthesis of hafnon, HfSiO4
    Crystal Growth & Design 20(2020)3, 1820-1828 (10.1021/acs.cgd.9b01546)
  • Ruiz-Fresneda, M. A.; Lopez Fernandez, M.; Martinez-Moreno, M. F. et al.
    Molecular binding of EuIII/CmIII by Stenotrophomonas bentonitica and its impact on the safety of future geodisposal of radioactive waste
    Environmental Science & Technology 54(2020), 15180-15190 (10.1021/acs.est.0c02418)
  • Mayordomo, N.; Rodriguez Hernandez, D. M.; Schild, D. et al.
    Technetium retention by gamma alumina nanoparticles and the effect of sorbed Fe²⁺
    Journal of Hazardous Materials 833(2020), 122066 (10.1016/j.jhazmat.2020.122066)
  • Rodriguez Hernandez, D. M.; Mayordomo, N.; Scheinost, A. et al.
    New insights into 99Tc(VII) removal by pyrite: A spectroscopic approach
    Environmental Science & Technology 54(2020)5, 2678-2687 (10.1021/acs.est.9b05341)
  • Pan, Z.; Bártová, B.; Lagrange, T. et al.
    Nanoscale mechanism of UO2 formation through uranium reduction by magnetite
    Nature Communications 11(2020)1, 4001 (10.1038/s41467-020-17795-0)
  • Kuc, A. B.; Springer, M.; Batra, K. et al.
    Proximity effect in crystalline framework materials: stacking-induced functionality in MOFs and COFs
    Advanced Functional Materials 30(2020)41, 1908004 (10.1002/adfm.201908004)
  • Moll, H.; Lehmann, F.; Raff, J.
    Interaction of curium(III) with surface-layer proteins from Lysinibacillus sphaericus JG-A12
    Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 190(2020), 110950 (10.1016/j.colsurfb.2020.110950)
  • Bauters, S.; Scheinost, A.; Schmeide, K. et al.
    Signatures of Technetium Oxidation States: A New Approach
    Chemical Communications 56(2020)67, 9608-9611 (10.1039/D0CC03905E)
  • Bonato, L.; Virot, M.; Dumas, T. et al.
    Probing the Local Structure of Nanoscaled Actinide Oxides: A Comparison between PuO2 and ThO2 Nanoparticles Rules out PuO2+x Hypothesis
    Nanoscale Advances 2(2020)1, 214-224 (10.1039/C9NA00662A)
  • Karimzadeh, L.; Lippold, H.; Stockmann, M. et al.
    Effect of DTPA on europium sorption onto quartz – Batch sorption experiments and surface complexation modeling
    Chemosphere 239(2020), 124771 (10.1016/j.chemosphere.2019.124771)
  • Lösch, H.; Raiwa, M.; Jordan, N. et al.
    Temperature‒dependent luminescence spectroscopic and mass spectrometric investigations of U(VI) complexation with aqueous silicates in the acidic pH‒range
    Environment International 135(2020), 105425 (10.1016/j.envint.2019.105425)
  • Epifano, E.; Prieur, D.; Martin, P. M. et al.
    Melting behaviour of uranium-americium mixed oxides under different atmospheres
    The Journal of Chemical Thermodynamics 140(2020), 105896 (10.1016/j.jct.2019.105896)
  • Gerber, E.; Romanchuk, A.; Pidchenko, I. et al.
    The missing pieces of the PuO2 nanoparticles puzzle
    Nanoscale 12(2020)35, 18039-18048 (10.1039/d0nr03767b)
  • Pidchenko, I.; Bauters, S.; Sinenko, I. et al.
    A multi-technique study of altered granitic rock from the Krunkelbach Valley uranium deposit, Southern Germany
    RSC Advances 10(2020), 25529-25539 (10.1039/D0RA03375H)
  • Yuan, L.; Zheng, B.; Kunstmann, J. et al.
    Twist-angle-dependent interlayer exciton diffusion in WS2–WSe2 heterobilayers
    Nature Materials 19(2020), 617-623 (10.1038/s41563-020-0670-3)
  • Herzog, S. D.; Kvashnina, K.; Persson, P. et al.
    Organic Iron Complexes Enhance Iron Transport Capacity along Estuarine Salinity Gradients
    Biogeosciences 17(2020)2, 331-344 (10.5194/bg-2019-234)
  • Tamain, C.; Bonato, L.; Aupiais, J. et al.
    Role of the hydroxo group in the coordination of citric acid toward trivalent americium
    European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry (2020)4, 1331-1344 (10.1002/ejic.202000124)
  • Ghosh, S.; Nakada, A.; Springer, M. et al.
    Identification of Prime Factors to Maximize the Photocatalytic Hydrogen Evolution of Covalent Organic Frameworks
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 142(2020)21, 9752-9762 (10.1021/jacs.0c02633)
  • Höllriegl, V.; Barkleit, A.; Spielmann, V. et al.
    Measurement, model prediction and uncertainty quantification of plasma clearance of cerium citrate in humans
    Radiation and Environmental Biophysics 59(2020), 121-130 (10.1007/s00411-019-00823-z)
  • Liu, J.; Wei, X.; Zhou, Y. et al.
    Thallium contamination, health risk assessment and source apportionment in common vegetables
    Science of the Total Environment 703(2020), 135547 (10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135547)
  • Bahmani, M.; Faghihnasiri, M.; Lorke, M. et al.
    Electronic Properties of Defective MoS2 Monolayers Subject to Mechanical Deformations: A First-Principles Approach
    Physica Status Solidi (B) 257(2020)5, 1900541 (10.1002/pssb.201900541)
  • Kuzenkova, A.; Romanchuk, A.; Trigub, A. et al.
    New insights into the mechanism of graphene oxide and radionuclide interaction through vacancy defects
    Carbon 158(2020), 291-302 (10.1016/j.carbon.2019.10.003)
  • Moll, H.; Sachs, S.; Geipel, G.
    Plant cell (Brassica napus) response on europium(III) and uranium(VI) exposure
    Environmental Science and Pollution Research 27(2020), 32048-32061 (10.1007/s11356-020-09525-2)
  • Fischer, S.; Krause, T.; Lederer, F. et al.
    Bacillus safensis JG-B5T affects the fate of selenium by extracellular production of colloidally less stable nanoparticles
    Journal of Hazardous Materials 384(2020), 121146 (10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.121146)
  • Kretzschmar, J.; Strobel, A.; Haubitz, T. et al.
    Uranium(VI) Complexes of Glutathione Disulfide Forming in Aqueous Solution
    Inorganic Chemistry 59(2020)7, 4244-4254 (10.1021/acs.inorgchem.9b02921)
  • Bollermann, T.; Fischer, C.
    Temporal evolution of dissolution kinetics of polycrystalline calcite
    American Journal of Science 320(2020), 53-71 (10.2475/01.2020.04)
  • Ingeberg, V. W.; Siem, S.; Wiedeking, M. et al.
    First application of the Oslo method in inverse kinematics - Nuclear level densities and gamma-ray strength functions of 87Kr
    European Physical Journal A 56(2020), 68 (10.1140/epja/s10050-020-00070-7)