Radiochemical Test Capacities
Example test undertaken at the Walton House Active Laboratory

  • Solubility measurements;

  • Batch sorption experiments;

  • Reservoir-depletion and rock-beaker experiments;

  • Static and dynamic leaching experiments (e.g. leaching from encapsulated waste or irradiated graphite)

Chemistry Laboratory:


​There are two large-volume positive pressure nitrogen-atmosphere glove boxes in the adjacent Chemistry Laboratory for handling air-sensitive non-radioactive samples (in particular cementitious materials) and performing non-active experiments under anaerobic conditions.  
These gloveboxes are also used to prepare leachates, in controlled atmospheres, from the chemical degradation of cellulose and other polymers under alkaline conditions at moderately elevated temperatures (up to 80°C). The proximity to other Amec Foster Wheeler laboratories allows for a harmonized approach and an increase pool of facilities, see other facilities

Apparatus designed to measure the diffusion properties of rocks and cement are held in this laboratory:  

  • perspex through-diffusion cells for measuring the diffusion of solution components between a reservoir cell and a sampling cell. These cells may also be equipped to measure the through-diffusion of dissolved gases;

  • triaxial pressure cells designed for examining the effect of confining stress on the diffusive and advective properties of rock and clay samples.

Example Projects:

  • Studies of radionuclide releases (gaseous and aqueous) from irradiated, reactor graphite 

  • The effect of cellulose degradation products on Thorium sorption onto Haematite 

  • Impact of aqueous phase degradation products from PVC additives 

  • Effects of cement super-plasticisers on the solubility of Pu, U, Ni, Am and Th. 

  • A study of the mechanisms of uptake of radionuclides to cements using synchrotron-based techniques available at the Diamond Light Source. X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray fluorescence mapping will be used to identify the preferred location of radioelements in the complex cement mineral matrix

  • Durability of UK HLW and ILW glasses, work undertaken at Cambridge University has demonstrated the use of isotope-specific solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance techniques to study the structure and composition of the alteration layer formed on the surfaces of simulant glass wasteforms on leaching in water. 

High Temperature Facility Alliance Members:

EDF Energy
Imperial College London
Univesity of Oxford
The Open University
UK Atomic Energy Authority
National Nuclear Laboratory
The University of Manchester
Battery Local Modular Energy
University of Bristol

© 2018 by Jacobs