Central England branch November events

Chemistry of Cleaning up Nuclear Power Industry Waste

Central England Branch held its November lecture at Ridgeway House, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Campus on 22 November 2018.  The lecture titled ‘Chemistry of Cleaning up Nuclear Power Industry Waste’ was presented by Prof. Laurence Harwood (Chemical Sciences Division, University of Reading).

Separation of the minor actinides, neptunium, americium and curium from the chemically very similar lanthanides and other fission products is a key step in the partitioning and transmutation scenario for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel. This has been achieved using nitrogen-bearing ligands, such as the bis-triazinylphenanthroline (BTPhen) ligands that form 2 : 1 ligand : metal complexes. This lecture discussed how modulation of electronic effects by substituting at the 5 and 5,6-position of BTPhen ligands has enabled these ligands to be fine-tuned in order to enhance the selectivity, not only for Am3+ over Eu3+, but also permits differentiation between the adjacent minor actinides americium and curium. This characteristic allows the selective immobilisation of actinide and lanthanide ligands through the use of iron oxide nanoparticles.


On the same evening, a formal presentation was made to present a cheque of £925 to The Order of St. John Care Trust (Longlands Minibus Appeal).  This was collected during the raffle competition on the occasion of Central England Branch Annual Dinner on 11 October 2018. 

Longlands provides care for older people and adults with dementia or a physical disability. Residents are supported in the pursuit of an active lifestyle and their personal interests while benefitting from a care philosophy that prioritises dignity and independence alongside health, safety and security.


Dr Mehdi Askarieh (Chair of the NI CEB) presenting Mrs Vilma Collaku (Manager of Longlands) with a cheque of collections made at CEB’s annual dinner on 11 October 2018. 

Fukushima - The Accident, its Environmental Consequences and their Management

Central England Branch held its annual lecture at William Penney Theatre, AWE Recreational Society, Aldermaston on 21 November 2018.  The lecture titled: Fukushima - The Accident, its Environmental Consequences and their Management – was presented by Lorimer Fellingham (Retired Engineer, Nuvia).

In March 2011, Japan was struck by a magnitude 9 earthquake, causing a tsunami to hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. This resulted in major losses of direct and emergency power for cooling and monitoring instrumentation. The inability to remove decay heat led ultimately to the melting of significant fractions of the cores of three reactors, resulting in loss in containment and releasing substantial quantities of volatile and semi-volatile radionuclides into the environment.

The lecture reviewed the Fukushima incident from the perspective of the development of the releases to the environment and the resulting environmental contamination on and offsite. It described and discussed the containment approaches adopted on site and focus on the clean-up and waste management activities being undertaken off- site.