JRP CALL information
Supported By

European Commission

Actinides play a central role in the nuclear energy generation systems: uranium and plutonium are introduced as a fuel in the reactors, and the other actinides are produced by the nuclear reactions. They are all present in spent fuels, and they can be considered either as waste or as potential resources to be processed and recycled.

It is therefore of major interest, from both resource management and waste management, to understand the very specific properties of these elements, and to be able to assess and control their behaviour in a wide variety of environments, ranging from geological systems (mining, deep underground repository…), fabrication processes (fuels, transmutation targets…), nuclear reactor irradiation, spent fuel processing (hydro- and pyro-chemistry), etc.

Indeed, the realization that actinides – like other resources on earth – are only available in finite quantities while the demand on non-fossil energies is foreseen to increase dramatically in the forthcoming decades, leads to a renewed increasing interest for the physics and chemistry underlying actinide management in the nuclear fuel cycle.

In order to keep a leading position in the field of nuclear energy – both in terms of safety and efficient use of natural resources – Europe needs to reinforce its expertise and to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers who will contribute to develop actinide management strategies based on sound scientific bases.

However, because most actinides are radioactive, their study requires specific tools and facilities that are only available in a limited number of laboratories in Europe. In particular, only a few academic and research organisations have the capabilities to work on these elements. It is therefore strategic to coordinate the existing Actinide infrastructures available in Europe, and to strengthen the community of European scientists working on actinides.

The establishment of a network of actinide scientists – ACTINET – was a first step in this direction, achieved with the support of the European Commission under the 6th Framework Programme (Network Of Excellence ACTINET-6). This network gathered major laboratories involved in nuclear research and a wide range of academic research organisations and universities. Its members established a set of communication tools and common procedures to share resources and information. Moreover, they launched joint research projects taking advantage of the availability, within the network, of a pool of facilities.

As a second step, the objective of this Integrated Infrastructure Initiative is to reinforce the networking between existing European infrastructures in actinide sciences, and to facilitate their efficient use by the European scientific community.

 

In accordance with the guidelines of the EC funding scheme I3, the concept of the ACTINET-I3 is:

(i) To establish a network of Actinide facilities across the EU to integrate and structure better the way these Actinide infrastructures operate and to foster their joint development in terms of capacity and performance. To progress toward the establishment of a European Research Area in the field of actinide sciences through a web based collaborative platform and other communication tools and initiatives;

(ii) to support and manage jointly an access to appropriate research infrastructures for training and associated research projects making use of the proposed research facilities;

(iii) to conduct on a limited scale a set of Joint Research Activities (JRA) involving member organisations, with an objective to improve the performance of infrastructures by developing  new relevant instrumentations and/or data of common interest. Further, these activities will be complemented by a virtual infrastructure providing a limited support in theory and modelling, with a focus on the complementarities between theory and experiments.

The Networking Activities (NA), the Transnational Access Activities (TA), and the Joint Research Activities (JRA) are detailed in Sections (iv), (v) and (vi) respectively.

Based on training and research needs, appropriateness of a given infrastructure in the network and its availability and schedule for such work will be selected for access of transnational research teams for well defined topic.