Dr. Nina Maria Huittinen
Phone: +49 351 260 2148

AcE: Fundamental investigations of Actinide immobilization by incorporation into solid phasEs relevant for final disposal

AcE: Grundlegende Untersuchungen zur Immobilisierung von Actiniden mittels Einbau in endlagerrelevante Festphasen

Logo of the AcE project ©Copyright: Dr. Huittinen, Nina Maria

Finanaced by: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Funding period: 01.01.2021 – 31.12.2023

Grant number: 02NUK060

About the project

The AcE project aims to understand the incorporation and immobilization of actinides (An) in crystalline, repository-relevant solid phases at the atomic level. Investigated solid materials include various Zr(IV)-bearing phases such as zircon (ZrSiO4), zirconia (ZrO2), and pyrochlore (Ln2Zr2O7), as well as structurally related UO2-based materials with fluorite structure, and lanthanide (Ln-)orthophosphates of the monazite type (LnPO4). These solid phases are of relevance in the corrosion of the Zircaloy cladding surrounding spent nuclear fuels rods, or they are envisioned as ceramic hosts for the immobilization and safe disposal of specific actinide-bearing waste streams generated in the late stages of the nuclear fuel cycle. Furthermore, UO2-based materials will be investigated in the context of spent nuclear fuel final disposal of which such materials form a key component of.

The main objectives of the AcE project are (i) the development of synthesis strategies for primarily An(IV)-doped solid phases, (ii) understanding their associated structural and physical properties using combined atomistic and experimental approaches and (iii) determining their performance after irradiation with particular regard to assessment of their long-term stability, dissolution behavior, and suitability for An matrix incorporation.

Novel approaches to improve the safe management of radioactive waste will be explored during the course of this project, which will contribute to the evaluation of innovative disposal strategies and extend the knowledge regarding the fate of actinides during long-term disposal in underground repositories.

Finally, an important aspect of the project is to contribute to the maintenance and extension of expertise and in-depth understanding of radionuclide immobilization in the field of radioactive waste management by educating and supporting pre- and postgraduate students and early career scientists.

Project partners

Logo des HZDR Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf,
Institute of Resource Ecology
Dr. Nina Huittinen (project coordination)
Dr. Christoph Hennig
Dr. Volodymyr Svitlyk
Dr. Sara Gilson
Logo der Rheinisch–Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen Universit Institute of Crystallography

Rheinisch–Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen University
Institute of Crystallography
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Lars Peters (vice coordinator)
M.Sc. Theresa Lender

Logo der Rheinisch–Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen Universit Institute of Mineral Engineering

Rheinisch–Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen University
Institute of Mineral Engineering
Dr. Thorsten Tonnesen
M.Sc. Jonas Nießen

Logo des FZ Jülich

Forschungszentrum Jülich
Nuclear Waste Management and Reactor Safety
Dr. Gabriel Murphy

Logo der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
Institute of Geosciences
Prof. Bjoern Winkler
Dr. Julien Marquardt

Latest news

  • Kick-off meeting at the Goethe Universität Frankfurt on Tuesday 8th of June.
  • Irradiation campaign 1 at the IBC/HZDR on 26.11, 3.12, and 10.12.


Peer-reviewed journal articles



Dr. Nina Maria Huittinen
Phone: +49 351 260 2148