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Institute of Energy and Climate Research

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Nuclear Waste Management

The Nuclear Waste Management section of IEK-6 focusses on scientific topics relevant to safety aspects of nuclear waste management considering the process of the “Energiewende”, the German energy transition. It performs fundamental as well as applied research and development for the safe management of nuclear waste, covering issues from the atomic scale to the macroscopic scale of actual waste packages, waste compounds / materials and the engineered barrier system in a deep geological nuclear waste repository.

Research at IEK-6 with respect to the long-term safety of nuclear waste disposal includes work on spent nuclear fuel corrosion, the formation of secondary phases, and radionuclide retention processes – the radio(geo)chemistry of the deep geological repository nearfield, thus contributing to the scientific basis of the safety case. In order to study innovative waste management strategies, IEK-6 research groups are focusing on partitioning of actinides from reprocessing wastes and the development of ceramic waste forms for special nuclear waste streams, such as separated plutonium unsuitable for further use, or separated minor actinides. The research programme is supported by a strong “structure research” group covering the fields of solid state chemistry and physics, crystallography and supercomputing-aided atomistic modelling. Application oriented waste management concepts for special categories of problematic radioactive wastes (e.g. irradiated nuclear graphite or radioactively contaminated heavy metals) are developed by integrating the development of non-destructive essay techniques, for which IEK-6 is well known for decades, and waste treatment procedures. The nuclear safeguards group in IEK-6 investigates and develops nuclear safeguards methods and techniques, and is responsible for the scientific coordination of the German IAEA safeguards support programme.

Additional Information

Director Nuclear Waste Management

Prof. Dr. Dirk Bosbach


Claudia Ruhnau

Tel.: +49 2461 61-5299
Fax: +49 2461 61-2450