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Transport of radioactive waste along the Sellafield shoreline: climate change impact and mitigation strategies through nature based solutions

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy - GREEN

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Dr Nicoletta Leonardi Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
Liverpool United Kingdom Climate Science Environmental Geography Nuclear Physics

About the Project

This project will primarily be based at: The University of Liverpool


This project aims to build on previous collaboration across the Department of Geography and Planning and NNL on the ARCoES project. The proposed research will take existing assessments of flood risk to the next level by projecting coastal change due to erosion and sedimentation, thus providing new knowledge on the potential physical remobilization and transport of sediments contaminated by radioactive waste.

Numerical modelling will be applied to examine the relative significance of waves, storms and sea-level rise on coastal erosion and sediment transport for the wider Sellafield shoreline and adjacent waters. The fate of sediments labelled with Sellafield radionuclides will also be investigated to assess the effects of remobilized legacy waste on the environment. The numerical modelling environment will provide a tool for assessing the effectiveness of ‘nature-based’ interventions at the coast that aim to mitigate erosion and flood risk, thus providing a tool for stakeholders to explore different management options.

The student will spend time at NNL to understand the environmental and policy contexts within which decisions regarding the management and storage of nuclear waste are made. This will involve working alongside NNL colleagues to become acquainted with the focus and demands of their research and assessment. The student will also be a part of the GREEN CDT.


The GREEN Centre for Doctoral Training (GREEN CDT) is a a consortium of five universities: The University of Manchester, Lancaster University, The University of Leeds, The University of Liverpool and The University of Sheffield, which aims to train the next generation of expert nuclear scientists and engineers.

Students within the GREEN CDT are invited to undertake a four-year PhD programme. Students will attend taught courses (Year 1) in various subject of nuclear technology followed by subject specific training (Year 1) leading to research activities (Year 2-Year 4).

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