The research topics of the Journées des Actinides (JdA) include basic research in the actinides (nature of the 5f states, advances in materials preparation and synthesis, studies of speciation. etc.) as well as aspects of chemical processing and characterising nuclear waste. From its outset a goal of the JdA has been to allow the attendees to understand the wider issues in actinide science. The difficulty of experimentation in this field is that the samples are radioactive.
Although uranium is used in many laboratories, any effort on transuranium materials requires special authorisation and laboratories. The nature of experimental work is that large-scale collaborations are the norm rather than the exception. The annual JdA provides an excellent forum to report progress on a number of projects, and allows the participants to meet and discuss future plans.
The present proposal is aimed at supporting young researchers to attend the JdA and (every second year) to allow support for some of the lecturers at a school organised just prior to the JdA. The JdA was started in 1972 and is an event held annually to disseminate information on both the physics and chemistry of the actinides. Growing to perhaps 30-40 researchers in the early 1980's, the JdA has now grown to 80-100 attendees, and represents the only continuing forum for cross-disciplinary interaction in this field in Europe.
The meeting now lasts 3 days. It is regularly attended by a few Americans and Japanese and has always had a strong contingent from former Eastern Bloc states, particularly Poland and Czech Republic. With a reduction in the number of Universities who are able to work with uranium, it is vital that the JdA act as a focal point for actinide research in Europe. Many of the young people attending the next few JdA meetings will be the ones giving technical advice to Governments about nuclear power and the disposal of nuclear waste in the future.