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Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2011.5.2-1 | Award Amount: 2.26M | Year: 2011

CarbFix is a combined industrial/academic research program created to 1) increase measurably our understanding of the long-term fate of CO2 injected into the subsurface, 2) develop new technology to facility the safe and permanent of geologic carbon storage, and 3) publicise the results of this research allowing them to be applied internationally. Unique to CarbFix its running of the Hellisheidi CO2 injection pilot plant, the worlds first CO2 storage project aimed at optimizing CO2 mineral carbonation in the subsurface. This pilot plant allows CarbFix to develop, test and demonstrate to the public novel injection and mentoring methods illuminating the fate of injected CO2. The CarbFix research program combines observations from the Hellisheidi power plant and the Compostilla EEPR site with laboratory based experiments, study of natural analogs, predictive model development, numerical modelling, and model validation to improve our understanding of the long-term fate of geologically stored CO2.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: Fission-2011-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 4.74M | Year: 2012

The EURATOM FP7 Collaborative Project Fast / Instant Release of Safety Relevant Radionuclides from Spent Nuclear Fuel (CP FIRST-Nuclides) is established with the overall objective to provide for improved understanding of the fast / instantly released radionuclides from disposed high burn-up UO2 spent nuclear fuel. This issue is given a high priority in the SRA of the IGD-TP. The outcome of the project is relevant for all types of host rocks in Europe. European experimental facilities with specialised equipment for work with highly radioactive materials collaborate for improving the knowledge relevant for the period after loss of the disposed canister integrity. The project provides for experiments combined with modelling studies on integration of the different results as well as for up-scaling from experimental conditions to entire LWR fuel rods. Spent fuel materials are selected and characterized that have known initial enrichment, burn-up and irradiation histories. Experiments and modelling studies access the correlation between the fast release of fission gases and non-gaseous fission products. They also cover the chemical speciation of relevant fission/activation products and the retention of radionuclides in the rim and grain boundaries of the fuel. Complementary, existing data from previous investigations are evaluated. The 3 years project is implemented by a consortium with 10 Beneficiaries consisting of large Research Institutions and SMEs from 7 EURATOM Signatory States, and the EC Institute for Transuranium Elements. National Waste Management Organizations contribute to the project by participation in the End-User Group, by co-funding to Beneficiaries, and provide for knowledge and information.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: Fission-2010-1.1.2 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2011

Solid/liquid chemical equilibrium hypotheses (sorption, solubility, solid-solution formation) are key concepts in the assessment of nuclear waste safety. For radionuclides at trace concentrations this corresponds to constant solution concentrations, or solid/liquid distribution ratios, if environmental conditions remain constant. However, these concepts do not account for irreversible incorporation of radionuclides in the solid phases. Indeed, there is often a gradual and very slow transition from simple adsorption processes to incorporation of trace elements in the surface structure of solid phases. For certain tetravalent actinides apparent solubility equilibrium applies to only the surface without bulk phase equilibrium. This can lead to very large uncertainty in solubility values and derived thermodynamic constants. Equilibrium concepts are characterized by a dynamic state of equal forward and backward reaction rates, under conditions where phase compositions remain constant. Most of the problems arise from a lack of understanding of the dynamics of slow processes close to equilibrium, specifically in the coupling of sorption with other surface equilibrium reactions such as dissolution/precipitation, recrystallisation, isotopic exchange and with the bulk phase equilibrium. The project intends to assess the effect of surface properties on apparent solubility as well as the kinetics of incorporation of radionuclides in the structure of a solid phase, and the associated reaction mechanisms for various solids in a systematic manner, using isotope exchange under close-to-equilibrium conditions. The project results will impact strongly (1) the use/misuse of solubility data for thermodynamics; (2) the understanding of affinity/rate relations close to equilibrium; (3) the inclusion of irreversibility in models on the long-term mobility of radionuclides; and (4) the coupling of radionuclide chemistry with main element chemistry in the repository environment.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: Fission-2010-1.1.2 | Award Amount: 1.79M | Year: 2011

The EURATOM FP7 Collaborative Project Crystalline Rock Retention Processes (CP CROCK) is established with the overall objective to develop a methodology for decreasing the uncertainty in the long-term prediction of the radionuclide migration in the crystalline rock far-field. The project is launched in response to the need identified in conjunction with selection of retention data for the forthcoming crystalline host-rock HLW disposal Safety Case. The process of selecting a set of data for this purpose showed that the spread in data is broad and that this spread in data cannot presently be related to material properties or processes. Consequently, very conservative numbers need to be used in order to be defendable within the Safety Case. This does not lead to unacceptable dose predictions, but remains highly unsatisfactorily. The project makes use of the broad set of existing analytical approaches, methodologies, and general knowledge from decades of past investigations. It builds on the output and main conclusions of the 6th FP IP FUNMIG project and the Swedish site selection program. The experimental program reaches from the nano-resolution to the PA relevant real site scale, delineating physical and chemical retention processes. Existing and new analytical information provided within the project is used to set up step-wise methodologies for up-scaling of processes from the nano-scale through to the PA relevant km-scale. Modeling includes testing up-scaling process and parameters for the application to PA and in particular, the reduction of uncertainty. The 21/2 years project is implemented by a consortium with 10 Beneficiaries consisting of large European Research Institutions, Universities and SMEs and from countries with dedicated crystalline host-rock disposal programs and particular competence in this field. National Waste Management organizations participate as associated groups, contributing with co-funding to beneficiaries, infrastructure, knowledge and information. They also contribute together with national regulators to guidance with respect to application of the project to the disposal Safety Case and scientific-technical review.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.58M | Year: 2012

Understanding the processes that control the transport of metals in the environment is essential for a wide range of fields, including environmental protection and remediation, mineral resources, climate change. Through recent analytical developments, it is possible, using natural variations in metal isotopes, to identify and quantify how metal concentrations in natural waters are controlled by interactions with mineral surfaces, microbially-mediated reactions, and release during mineral weathering, and so significantly advancing our understanding of the fate and consequences of metal transport in the environment However, such applications have not been extensively exploited. The proposed MetTrans scientific and training Network will address a range of critical societal and industrial applications. This includes the abiotic and microbial immobilization of contaminants, the role of metals in carbon sequestration, and the response of metal transport to climate change. This requires interdisciplinary input, from chemistry, geology, physics, biology, hydrology, and engineering, and the solution to many of these problems requires close academic-industrial collaboration academia will provide the scientific expertise and state-of-the-art analytical techniques to the practical applications confronted by industry. Although the particular research questions considered are diverse, the underlying scientific principles and analytical techniques are similar. This therefore provides an excellent platform to train young scientists in using of isotopic methods, understanding metal behaviour, and utilizing skills broadly. The Network focuses on providing training on analytical skills, on understanding fundamental principles, and on modelling, and exposes young scientists to a wide range of opportunities for applying this training in research and industry.

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