Model development for the assessment of the impact of accidental and routine radioactive releases in the Meuse-Scheldt aquatic system


Deleersnijder Eric, (Université catholique de Louvain (UCL)),

SCK•CEN Mentor

Sweeck Lieve,, +32 (0)14 33 28 52

Expert group

Biosphere Impact Studies

SCK•CEN Co-mentor

Fiengo Perez Fabricio , , +32 (0)14 33 27 07

Short project description

In the exceptional case of  a nuclear accident, it is crucial to know how the radioactivity released in the environment will be transported and what the possible exposure pathways to humans (and biota) will be. This PhD project will focus on liquid accidental releases. The liquid releases not only have an effect on the short term but also on long term. After an accident, actions are needed to protect the both people and environment inside the influence area. These include controlling the quality of drinking water and other resource as well as estimating how long it will take before the health risk becomes sufficiently low again. Here as  a case study, we will consider the Meuse-Scheldt River System of which the water is used as drinking water and navigation.

For the Meuse-Scheldt River System , not only the nuclear power plant of Tihange located at the south side of the Meuse River but also other facilities such as Chooz, IRE, Prayon release their radioactive effluents into the river. The use of Meuse River as an important source of drinking water clearly emphasizes the need for the assessment of the possible consequences of the routine and accidental releases in short and long term on man and environment.

We will update the available decision tools for aquatic pathways to improve our estimates about the possible health risk and socio-economic consequences of an accidental radioactive release in the Meuse river. Estimations of the extension of the affected area, the damage to water users and the implications on the way of living of the region along the river are unknown. In this research proposal, a methodology for the development of tools for the assessment of the effects of the routine releases and the possible consequences that follow an accidental liquid discharge are studied.

The minimum diploma level of the candidate needs to be

Master of sciences , Master of sciences in engineering

The candidate needs to have a background in

Bio-engineering , Physics , Mathematics , Other , Water resources, environmental sciences, physical geography
Before applying, please consult the guidelines for application for PhD.