The radiation physics and radiocarbon research laboratory specialises in the measurement of minute traces of artificial and natural radionuclides in the environment. The laboratory is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for high resolution alpha spectrometry, low-level beta spectrometry, and high resolution gamma and x-ray spectrometry. Advanced radiochemical separation techniques for nuclides such as plutonium, uranium, thorium, americium, technetium, radiostrontium and radiocaesium have been developed. We also apply radiometric dating techniques for reconstructing environmental histories.

Atlantic, July 1998

Current Research Programmes

1. Marine Radioecology

  • Consequences of radioactive contamination of Arctic waters
  • Transport of contaminated sediments in estuarine and coastal waters (Irish Sea, NE Atlantic, Seine and Gironde estuaries)
  • Solid speciation of radionuclides in fine-grained sediments
  • Ocean scavenging processes using 234Th/ 238U disequilibrium

2. Terrestrial Radioecology

  • Retrospective assessment of the impact of the Windscale fire
  • Modelling the transfer and recycling of 137Cs in forest ecosystems
  • Reconstruction of radionuclide deposition in lakes

3. Radioisotope Dating Studies

  • 14C dating of a Neolithic field system Céide Fields (Co. Mayo)
  • Climate change studies
  • History of sea-level change and coastal downwarping
  • 210Pb dating of lake and peat cores

4. Technique Development

  • Deconvolution techniques in alpha spectrometry
  • 241Pu and 90Sr determination using liquid scintillation spectrometry
  • Detection of transuranic nuclides using new mass spectrometric techniques (AMS, ICP-MS, laser-ablation ICP-MS)

5. Ecosystem modelling

  • Modelling radionuclide dispersion in marine and estuarine environments
  • Role of physico-chemical speciation (including colloidal association) in the dispersion of radionuclides in the aquatic environment

Laboratory facilities:

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To Contact Us

Phone: +353 1 7162220

Last Updated: 7th September, 2001

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