NERC Funds Radioactivity and the Environment Programme
NERC has funded a £2.6 M Manchester-led consortium from its Radioactivity and the Environment programme. This will support 6 PDRAs and 8 PhD students, and the investigators in the School of Chemistry are Gareth Law, Sarah Heath, Nick Bryan and Francis Livens.
The project also involves the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, and the Faculty of Life Sciences in Manchester, as well as Newcastle, Cranfield, Southampton and Edinburgh Universities, the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences, and the Scottish Universities' Environmental Research Centre.
The project aims to use 'natural laboratories' to understand the behaviour of long-lived radionuclides, uranium, radium and carbon-14 in the environment, with a focus on the mechanisms underpinning transport in soils and sediments, microbial transformations, and uptake by plants.
The study sites include South Terras, an old uranium/radium mine in Cornwall, the north-east Irish Sea basin, and Needle's Eye, a uranium vein in south west Scotland. All the fieldwork can be undertaken using conveniently located, high quality licensed premises as a base.