The radiochemistry research is focused on four areas, the largest one of them being study on behaviour of radionuclides geosphere in reference to final disposal of spent nuclear fuel. Another are related to nuclear waste is the development of inorganic ion exchangers for the selective removal of radionuclides from nuclear waste effluents. Third area is radiopharmaceutical chemistry and fourth environmental radioactivity.
Information on research projects can be found from research groups' own pages (links below).
Disposal of spent nuclear fuel group
Ion exchange for nuclear waste management and for recycling group
Radiopharmaceutical chemistry group
Microbiology and biosphere research group
Since the end of 1970s, when the first nuclear power reactors were installed in Finland, the major research field in the Laboratory of Radiochemistry has been the studies related to the safety of the final disposal on spent nuclear fuel. The Laboratory has studied extensively the migration and retention of radionuclides in the geosphere. In Finland the spent nuclear fuel from the nuclear power plants will be disposed of in bedrock repositories at a depth of about 500 meters. Fractures and fissures in the bedrock contain water that eventually leach radionuclides from the fuel matrix and transport them into the biosphere. Even through the amounts of radioactivity thus transported into the biosphere are very low, their pathways and migration rates need to be known.
In the beginning of the 1980s a new research area was started in the Laboratory: development of inorganic ion exchangers and their use in the selective separation of radionuclides from nuclear waste effluents. During the years a great number of ion exchangers have been developed and three of these are being manufactured at industrial scale by the Fortum Company. They are also being used at several nuclear installations worldwide for the separation of radioactive cesium, strontium and activated corrosion products from various nuclear waste effluents.