Reducing transport of radionuclides into the environment

Impact: Environmental Impact, Health Impact

Description of impact

Reducing radionuclides that migrate from nuclear facilities and waste disposal sites into the broader environment is a step towards a cleaner and healthier world. Additionally, developing safer facilities and infrastructure for nuclear waste storage and nuclear power plants will help engender public confidence in the nuclear industry, which is important as nuclear power could be used more in the future to help decrease CO2 emissions.

Who is affected

This research benefits the nuclear industry, environment and the public.


Accidental releases, inadequate radioactive waste disposal practices, and nuclear weapons testing are the main human activities that result in radioactive contamination around the world. Gaining a greater understanding of radionuclide fate and transport, while developing remedial and containment methods that prevent or reduce their migration into the environment, has been strengthened by research at QUB. Studies at QUB, in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (USA), have gained a greater understanding of fate and transport of radionuclides, particularly uranium, in the shallow subsurface and helped develop chemical and bioremediation methods that reduce their further migration in to the broader environment. Additionally, a project at QUB, in collaboration with the National Nuclear Laboratory (UK), has given insight into how to design stronger and more reliable containment for radioactive waste in shallow repositories under the impact of climate change.
Impact statusOngoing
Impact date2005
Category of impactEnvironmental Impact, Health Impact
Impact levelEngagement


  • Radionuclides
  • Nuclear Industry
  • uranium