Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research project: Assessment of Sorbent Materials for the Remediation of Radionuclide Contaminated Groundwater

Currently Active: 

Decades of leaks have contaminated parts of the Separation Area at Sellafield with a mixture of anthropogenic radionuclides. The more mobile of these radionuclides (HTO, Sr and Tc) have polluted the groundwater aquifer under the site and are migrating towards the Irish Sea. In many non-nuclear sites in-situ sorbent materials in the form of permeable reactive barriers (PRBs) have been successfully used to treat polluted groundwater. PRBs provide an engineered zone that immobilises contaminants from groundwater flowing through it.

Source: Sellafield Groundwater Annual Report
Schematic figure of Sellafield site

Project Aims

  • measure the sorption capacity and distribution coefficient (KD) of PRB materials taking into account relevant physicochemical characteristics (e.g. pH, Eh, complexants, colloids and competing ion effects)
  • determine the uptake kinetics and sorption mechanism of those materials
  • characterise physical and chemical changes that may affect their long term performance
  • investigate the impact of using simulant and site groundwaters on radionuclide uptake
Schematic figure showing PRB
Schematic figure showing PRB

Project Funding

This project is funded through the NDA Bursary awarded to the GAU-Radioanalytical group.

Key Contacts

Mr. David Cundy (PhD student)

Prof. Ian Croudace (Academic Supervisor)

Prof. Phil Warwick (Academic Supervisor)

Dr. Martin Dutton (NNL Industry Supervisor)

Related Pages

Advanced low level radionuclide analysis HR-Field ICP-MS: bioassay applications

Measurement of 135Cs/137Cs in environmental samples

Nuclear Forensics: Determining the origin of uranium ores from geochemical signatures

Development of Robust Automated Techniques for Radionuclide Separation


Useful Downloads

Need the software?PDF Reader
Share this research project Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings