PhD: Radioactivity in the Irish Coastal Environment

Application closing date: March 11th 2022

Post summary
The aim of this EPA-funded project is to provide a status update on artificial radioactivity levels in the Irish coastal environment by revisiting some of the sites from previous surveys carried out in the 1980s and 1990s whilst, at the same time, widening the scope of these surveys to include a range of natural radionuclides with a view to establish a baseline with which to assess future concentrations. Additional sample locations subject to, or potentially subject to the accumulation of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), such as ports and harbours, will be identified and included in the sampling. The project will seek to develop robust and accurate methods for the determination of natural radionuclides by high-resolution gamma spectrometry, and by applying these to the analysis of selected dredge material samples, consider the application of international guidelines to assess the suitability, from a radiological perspective, of the disposal of these materials at sea in relation to NORM.

The work will include a combination of field work (sampling), radioanalytical chemistry and radiometric determination. The PhD student will undertake modules to aid in the specialist knowledge required which will not only complement their research activity and will form a vital part of their skills training and career development plan. A significant portion of the project work will be undertaken in the EPA’s radioanalytical laboratories which are based in Dublin. The PhD student will be based mainly in the EPA laboratories with some periods of time also at WIT.

For more information please see the information sheet