Latest news

JANUARY 2014:

BIGRAD SCIENTIST NAMED IN THE UK'S TOP 100

Jon Lloyd (University of Manchester BIGRAD Co Investigator) has been recognised by the Science Council in a list of the UK’s 100 leading practising scientists.  Jon, who is Professor of Geomicrobiology in SEAES, Director of the Williamson Research Centre, and an affiliate of the Research Centre for Radwaste Disposal, was cited in the “Developer/Translational” category.  He was recognised for his work at the interface between biology and geology, including current capacity building research funded by a prestigious Royal Society Industrial Fellowship.  Via part-time secondment to the National Nuclear Lab, Jon is building a unique program of research that addresses the widespread impact of microbial life on the nuclear fuel cycle, from nuclear plant operation, through to contaminated land remediation, decommissioning and radwaste disposal. More details can be found here.


DECEMBER 2013:

IGDTP GEODISPOSAL CONFERENCE 2014 - REGISTRATION OPEN

This event, which will be held in Manchester between June 24th - 26th 2014, is now open for registration. Details are found here.


OCTOBER 2013:

BIGRAD DELEGATION VISITS FRENCH RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL FACILITIES
In October 2013, a group of 12 members of the BIGRAD consortium (image, right) flew out to France for a short visit hosted by Dr Achim Albrect and the ANDRA communications team, to tour the surface disposal facilities at the Aube Centre and the underground research laboratory (URL) at Meuse/Haute-Marne . There are two sites at the Centre Aube; the low-and intermediate-level radioactive waste disposal facility licensed for the disposal of 1 million cubic metres of waste; and the industrial facility for grouping, storage and disposal (CIRES), which deals with very-low-level waste and non-nuclear power generated radioactive wastes. The group had a comprehensive tour round these surface facilities followed by a Scientific Exchange with the Engineering team on site and hosted by Alain Delaplanche.

On the second day, we visited the underground research laboratory that ANDRA has developed to support geological disposal of higher activity wastes. The site, near the village of Bure, is excavated at a depth of approx. 500 m into the Callovo-Oxfordian clay / mud-stone. The morning was spent touring the surface visitor centre, complete with full size mock ups of waste canisters and emplacement demonstrations. After a hearty lunch at a local restaurant (a local community owned initiative that has developed in response to the ANDRA facilities at Bure), six of the researchers ventured down the 600 m lift shaft to the main underground research facility (image, left). The laboratory operates on a shift pattern, 24 hours a day, with a maximum of 49 people in the laboratory at any time, but we were able to tour the various galleries for an hour or so with Eric Poirot the Andra guide. The laboratory is working on assessing the response of the host rock to construction of the laboratory as well as several experiments looking at the chemical and biological behaviour of the sub-surface. The experimental gallery was impressive for the vast array of boreholes, monitoring and instrumentation – it’s an expensive but necessary business to drill a laboratory like this, with €1,500,000,000 of investment to date.

The trip as a whole gave us a privileged insight into the French radioactive waste storage and disposal programme which is world leading. We were throughout our tour impressed with the transparency of Andra and their commitment to delivering their long-term research programme to the highest standard and communicating their mission to the public. The attitude was one of working towards a final goal of safe and secure disposal of the French Radioactive Waste legacy by building a secure and scientifically underpinned geological disposal facility in partnership with the local community.



SEPTEMBER 2013:

BIGRAD @ MIGRATION 2013

The MIGRATION 2013 conference is being held in Brighton (UK) between the 8th - 13th of September 2013. 

BIGRAD has a large presence at the conference, with over 20 contributions (both oral and poster) being given by members of the consortium.  BIGRAD is also holding a special poster session at the conference on September 9th.  We very much look forward to meeting with our national and international colleagues during the conference.

(Image left) BIGRAD PhD student Tim Marshall giving a talk entitled 'The Fate of Technetium and Uranium during Magnetite Crystallisation at Hyperalkaline pH.  To view Tim's abstract and those of other BIGRAD researchers - please click here.




AUGUST 2013:

BIGRAD NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED

We are pleased to present our 2013 consortium newsletter highlighting many of our research successes. This update presents a flavour of what we have been have been up to over the past three years. You can view the newsletter by clicking here. Alternatively, a download link for a pdf copy is provided at the bottom of this page.



FEBRUARY 2013:

PROF. FRANCIS LIVENS TALKS AT RSC EVENT

Prof. Francis Livens delivered a talk at the recent Royal Society of Chemistry event "Science and a Civil Nuclear Strategy for the United Kingdom" on March 5th 2013. His talk, "Nuclear Fission R&D, Where Have We Come From, and Where Are We Going To?" formed part of an evening of lively discussions and was given in combination with Sir David King's Lord Lewis Prize Lecture "Renewable Energy and Nuclear Power for the UK". The talks provided an excellent forum for discussion on the nuclear sciences and included some debate about the challenge of geological disposal. For further information click here.



FEBRUARY 2013:

NUCLEAR OUTREACH AT CROMPTON HOUSE SCHOOL, OLDHAM

Three Nuclear FiRST Associates visited Crompton House School, Oldham in February to deliver their sessions on nuclear environmental sciences to groups of Year 11 students. A cohort of STEM A level students from the School will be visiting the University in June 2013 to follow up on this event.



FEBRUARY 2013:

MIGRATION CONFERENCE, BRIGHTON, 8-13th SEPTEMBER 2013

The 14th International Conference on the Chemistry and Migration Behaviour of Actinides and Fission Products in the Geosphere (MIGRATION) will be held in Brighton (UK) between the 8-13th of September 2013. The BIGRAD consortium will be sending a strong contingent of young researchers to the conference.
The Migration conferences provide an international forum for the timely exchange of scientific information on chemical processes controlling the migration behaviour of actinides and fission products in natural aquifer systems. Experimental investigations and predictive modelling of these processes are the main topics of the conferences. The information generated from the Migration conferences is the basis for the mechanistic understanding of the migration behaviour of long-lived radionuclides in the geosphere, which is essential for the long-term performance assessment of nuclear waste disposal. Full conference details can be accessed by clicking here.


JANUARY 2013:

ENV-RAD-NET LAUNCHES

BIGRAD consortium members Dr. Sam Shaw and Dr. Gareth Law have been successful in attaining funds from the STFC to run a Environmental Radioactivity Network (Env-Rad-Net). The network will promote technique development and environmental radioactivity research at STFC central facilities, including the Diamond Light Source, the Central Laser Facility,  ISIS, and a range of Computing facilities. The network was formally launched on the 24th of January at the Diamond Light Source.


JANUARY 2013:

BIGRAD ACADEMICS TO PRESENT AT ACTINIDES 2013    

BIGRAD consortium members Prof. Katherine Morris and Dr. Gareth Law have been invited to attend and present BIGRAD research at the upcoming Actinides 2013 conference. Prof. Morris will give a plenary address and Dr. Law will give an invited talk (both in the Environmental Science session). The conference will be held in Karlsruhe, Germany between July 21st - 26th.  Further details can be found here.



DECEMBER 2012:

BIGRAD MEMBERS COLLECT NEPTUNIUM XAS DATA

BIGRAD consortium members recently conducted Np XAS experiments at the ANKA-INE beam-line in Germany.  The work was sponsored by the EU ACTINET programme. The data collected documents Np reaction with a host of differing Fe-oxides under conditions representative of geological disposal. Some of this highly novel data will be presented at the Actinides 2013 conference.


SEPTEMBER 2010:


BIGRAD DISCUSSED IN DIAMOND LIGHT SOURCE PODCAST

BIGRAD consortium members Dr. Sam Shaw and Prof. Fred Mosselmans were recently interviewed for the Diamond Light Source podcast.  
To listen to the podcast click here.



APRIL 2010:

NERC ANNOUNCES FUNDING OF BIGRAD CONSORTIUM

NERC has announced that it has awarded the BIGRAD consortium £3.5 million to study the biogeochemistry and radionuclide behaviour in the region adjacent to an intermediate level radioactive waste disposal facility. Consortium partners include the Manchester University Research Centre for Radwaste and Decommissioning (RCRD) and Centre for Radiochemistry Research (CRR), the Universities of Leeds, Loughborough and Sheffield, the British Geological Survey, the German INE and the UK National Nuclear Laboratory.

BIGRAD is focussed on understanding the evolution of a geological disposal facility for radioactive wastes. Particularly we will work on how radionuclides behave across the zone between the repository environment and the natural environment (the Chemically Disturbed Zone). The BIGRAD consortium brings together a team of radiochemists, microbiologists, geologists, and mathematical modellers to address this problem.



For more information,
please contact Mrs. Heather Murphy in the first instance.  Email: heather.murphy@manchester.ac.uk; Tel: +44 (0) 161 275 3808.

The BIGRAD mail address is:

BIGRAD C/O Mr. Oliver Street,
Research Centre for Radwaste and Decommissioning,
School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Science,
Williamson Building,
Oxford Road,
Manchester,
M13 9PL,
UK.

Ċ
Gareth Law,
29 Aug 2013, 03:50