Uranium Species in Sludge

Project Title: An Investigation of Uranium Series Radionuclides in Water Supplies, Wastewaters and Sludges in Ireland

Student: Carmel Moran

Supervisor: John O’Dea

Funding Body: Higher Education Authority


A multidisciplinary (chemical, analytical, radiological and health physics) research study is proposed, to investigate radionuclide speciation and behaviour in water supplies, wastewaters and sludges in Ireland.

In addition to sludges, water supplies from associated regions will be tested. In particular, water supplies from an area of elevated natural radioactivity (Donegal) will be examined, as a follow on from a previous study.

The project will investigate screening and analytical methods for a range of uranium series nuclides and assess likely impacts to target populations utilising such water supplies, or receiving the products of wastewater treatment (discharges or sludges). Novel techniques involved include gamma and alpha spectrometry, ICP-MS and scintillation counting with a concomitant assessment of their efficiency and effectiveness. The project will provide a framework for the prediction of radionuclide contamination in drinking water, wastewater and sludges nationally.

The project involves direct collaboration with Prof. Peter Mitchell of University College Dublin.