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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2021-03-01 - 2025-02-28

The main goal of PlasticsFatE (Plastics Fate and Effects in the Human Body) is to improve our present understanding of the impact of micro- and nano-plastics (MP/NP) and associated additives/adsorbed contaminants (A/C) in the human body. Human exposure to MP/NP may result from the widespread use of plastic products and their release to the environment, where they degrade to MP/NP particles. But plastics particles reach natural systems also as secondary by-products, e.g., from tyre wear or abrasion of textiles. As a consequence, these particles are found in food, drinking water, air and environmental media (food chain, soils). Despite recent efforts to assess the real dimension of human risks associated with MP/NP, our current knowledge is still insufficient. One of the reasons is the lack of reliable and validated methods that are able to generate the science-based data we need. PlasticsFatE will address this challenge and associated uncertainties by implementing a comprehensive measurement and testing program ("test the test"), including inter-laboratory studies, to improve and validate the performance and applicability of available methods and tools to MP/NP. The tested and validated approaches will be used to (1) identify and detect MP/NP and A/C in a variety of complex matrices, such as food (vegetables, fruits, beverages, fish etc.), human tissues and consumer products (tooth paste, beauty products), as well as relevant environmental media (air, drinking water, soils), and to (2) assess their (also long-term) fate and toxicity in the human body by using advanced cell culture and organ models that simulate real exposure to MP/NP in the respiratory and gastro-intestinal tract. The newly developed innovative approaches will be integrated into a novel risk assessment strategy specifically designed for MP/NP to provide the policy relevant and scientifically sound data needed to support the health-relevant aims of European strategies for plastics. PlasticsFatE is part of the European MNP cluster on human health.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2020-09-01 - 2021-02-28

The project is investigating procedures and reactor concepts pursued internationally under the term "partitioning and transmutation" and is conducting a scenario-based assessment of the effects of a hypothetical application of partitioning and transmutation in Germany. In doing so, research already conducted at the Institute on possible scenarios of a hypothetical P&T application is used. In order to further develop and supplement the concepts already investigated, various partitioning methods for high-level radioactive waste, possible transmutation concepts and their state of development are presented. An analysis of the technical maturity level as well as the risks associated with a hypothetical operation of such facilities is presented and assessments of the possible effects on nuclear waste management are made. The safety of the processes compared to already established nuclear processes is examined. Safety requirements for the process engineering equipment due to the handling of radioactive materials are analysed. On this basis, the effects of hypothetical transmutation scenarios on nuclear waste management in Germany can be estimated. For this purpose, different scenarios are developed based on the actual waste quantity and composition in Germany. The aim of the project is to analyse the effects and safety
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2019-11-01 - 2021-10-31

Nikolaus Müllner was invited to participate as an observer for the BMNT in the IAEA Pre OSART mission in Mochovce Block 3. It is the goal of an OSART mission (Operational Safety Review Team) to examine to what extent the operation of a nuclear power plant is in line with IAEA safety standards. If gaps are identified, the Review Team makes a recommendation.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations