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2 Master thesis in (environmental) Radiochemistry

Dernière mise à jour : lundi 26 octobre 2020, par Nicolas Busser

Topic

Characterization of (micro)pollutants and their (in)organic nanovectors around a decommissioning site : Application to the Grand Canal of Alsace and the Old Rhine (Fessenheim, Alsace, france)

Background

Over the last decades numerous human activities have emitted and released to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems around urbanized and industrialized territories various metallic (micro)pollutants including radioactive isotopes (called hereafter more generally metallic trace elements, MTEs). This is a main environmental issue due to their variety, their potential toxicity and the complex mechanisms controlling their fate in the environment. Thus, an emerging scientific challenge at international level is to identify and to model the interactions between the MTEs and the main vectors of their aquatic mobility, i.e. the organic matter (OM) and the (in)organic nanoparticles (NPs).

These issues also arise in the context of the decommissioning of nuclear facilities as the potential conversion of these industrial areas to other types of land use calls for a comprehensive methodology to assess the site and its status. In this context, a scientific in-depth analysis based on the use of moder ultrasensitive analytical methods is required for the assessment of the environmental impact caused by decommissioning operations before, during and after.

In the frame of the European Campus EUCOR, we have initiated a project involving three partners : the INE (KIT, Germany), the IPHC (University of Strasbourg, France), the ENSCMu (University of Haute-Alsace, France). The objective is to initiate a cross-border expertise center (via the pooling of the specific expertise and advanced analytical techniques) to study and better understand the MTEs dynamic in natural aquatic biotopes.

The aim of our project and of the present Master thesis is to gain data providing valuable information at hitherto not available sensitivity and quality on the environmental status of a specific region. It refers presently to the Rhine aquatic biotope (limited to the Upper Rhine region and the Grand Canal of Alsace, see Figure), thus close to the future decommissioning site of Fessenheim (France).

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Master thesis in (environmental) Radiochemistry