The SUBATECH laboratory (CNRS/IN2P3 - IMT Atlantique - University of Nantes) is a partner in the PREDIS and A-CINCH projects that are part of Euratom, the program dedicated to the European Union's nuclear research and training activities. PREDIS is a research project on the management of radioactive waste and A-CINCH aims to strengthen education and training within the nuclear and radiochemistry domains.
Euratom coordinates member states' research programs for the peaceful, civil use of nuclear fission and fusion energies. It is part of Horizon 2020, the European Union's research and innovation funding program. With a budget of €79 billion, Horizon 2020's mission is to support the work of academic and industrial teams around three priorities: scientific excellence, industrial leadership and societal challenges.
SUBATECH carries out research activities in the field of nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry. "Our participation in these two European projects, one in coordination (PREDIS) and the other in participation (A-CINCH) underlines the excellence of the research and training carried out at IMT Atlantique through the SUBATECH radiochemistry group," says Abdesselam Abdelouas, a lecturer-researcher at IMT Atlantique, who is leading these two projects. "It's a result of the numerous efforts carried out over the last twenty years in the field of radioactive waste management and radiochemistry and its multiple applications. »
PREDIS: rethinking the treatment of radioactive waste
The PREDIS project aims at developing and implementing treatment activities prior to the disposal of radioactive waste streams other than nuclear fuel and high-level waste, for which no adequate or industrially mature solution currently exists. PREDIS focuses, in particular, on metallic materials, liquid and solid organic waste and cemented waste. The research program intends to test and evaluate innovative approaches to waste treatment and conditioning, with the ultimate goal of preserving storage resources and thus avoiding the construction of new sites . The PREDIS consortium brings together 48 partners from 17 EU member states. While it is more specifically aimed at producers of radioactive waste, PREDIS relies on cross-fertilisation and interaction between the different national programmes. IMT Atlantique is one of the 7 "workpackage leaders" of the project and will be involved in research on innovative treatment and conditioning of metal waste.
A-CINCH: stimulating students' interest in nuclear chemistry and radiochemistry
Nuclear and radiochemistry expertise is of strategic importance in the nuclear energy sector and in many vital applications. The need for such expertise is growing. It is no longer just a question of operating nuclear power plants safely, but of managing decontamination and decommissioning, waste management and environmental monitoring. The A-CINCH project aims to combat the loss of interest in nuclear knowledge among the younger generation. Emphasis will be placed on secondary school students and teachers, who will be invited to become involved in the "Learning by doing" concept. The advanced educational tools developed under the project include a 3D virtual reality laboratory, online courses open to all, remote robotic experiments (RoboLab), interactive screen experiments and a database of teaching materials (NucWik). The IMT Atlantique teams will be particularly involved in practical training on decontamination and dismantling.
by Pierre-Hervé VAILLANT