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Project abstract

The long-term environmental behaviour of radionuclides, their fate in the environment and their potential for exposing human populations are dependent on their chemical properties. Of particular concern is the capacity for radionuclides to migrate away from the primary source of contamination via groundwater. The chemical form (speciation) of a radionuclide dictates its environmental mobility, but is difficult to predict, being dependent on multiple biogeochemical and hydrological interactions. Our solution to this problem is the Diffusive Gradients in Thin-films (DGT) technique, which is a well-established method for determining the environmental speciation of trace metals. The technique relies on the analyte (e.g. the radionuclide of interest) diffusing through a thin gel and binding to a resin. By analysing the resin, the environmental concentration of the analyte can be determined. The goal of the present project is to set up and to validate DGT/DET methodologies in order to be utilized as techniques for a continuous and long-term monitoring of the migration through the geosphere of those elements which correspond to the radionuclides that are specific to the weak and medium active waste which shall be stored for an unlimited time-period in the repository to be built at Saligny.