With funding from the EU 7th Framework EURATOM Programme the project “Towards a European Competence Center for Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) on Actinides” began in 2009. This coordination and support action project spans nine months and entails establishment of a round table of experts in NMR applications to investigations of radioactive materials and organization of a workshop on this subject. The project partners are the Karlsurhe Institute of Technology Campus North and South, University of Cambridge, Université Liège, Royal Institute of Technology, CEA Marcoule and the EU JRC ITU.  

The overall goals of the project are summarized in the project proposal abstract:  

The aim of this proposal is to initiate building up NMR competence to support establishment of a “European Competence Centre for NMR on Actinides”. Building competence and identification of future trends and promising application fields in NMR actinide research will serve as the basis for specifying required NMR instrumentation and infrastructure in the “European Competence Centre for NMR on Actinides” to meet these experimental needs. The establishment of a the Centre for NMR on Actinides itself is a joint effort of the Karlsruhe Insitute of Technology Institut für Nukleare Entsorgung and the European Joint Research Centre Institute for Transuranium Elements, both located on the same site. It will provide access to NMR techniques, which are otherwise not available in Europe for working with radionuclides; there are no solid sate NMR instruments at all in Europe and only a few for investigations of liquid samples (e.g., in Marcoule, France; ATALANTE). Building up NMR actinide competence will be met via two basic activities: 1) formation of a NMR expert roundtable and 2) organization of a European Workshop for NMR on Nuclear Materials. Only through dialogue with the actinide research community in the planned workshop and with recognized experts in the round table can we establish the “European Competence Centre for NMR on Actinides”, which can successfully plan facilities needed for later access by European nuclear institutes and universities. This support action will also make the new NMR nuclear facilities to be available at the “European Competence Centre for NMR on Actinides” known to a broad base of potential European users. These NMR facilities available to the European actinide community will strengthen basic scientific understanding in a wide field of applications, e.g., coordination chemistry of f-elements, separation chemistry, irradiated fuels, actinide materials, waste management issues, etc.