Environmental Research and energetics

The activities of the Centre for Physical Sciences and Technology are tightly connected to Smart specialization Priority “Energy and sustainable environment” tasks.
At the Department of Nuclear Research training and expertise in the fields of nuclear physics, nuclear and mass spectroscopy is performed, development of smart-environment and environment-safe nuclear fuel cycle technologies as well as implementation of new material modification and analysis methods.
The scope of the activities lies from the theoretical modelling and experimental determination of radionuclide in the reactor to creation of new technologies ensuring nuclear and radiation safety and optimizing radioactive waste management. Determination of nuclide composition of radioactive waste by using scaling factor (nuclide vector) method developed in our department is successfully used in the decommissioning process of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant ​​radioactive waste management (working as TSO in the area of ​​radiological characterization of the INPP). Theoretical and experimental research on degradation of engineering barriers of hazardous and radioactive waste packaging and waste repositories are performed, assessment of radionuclide accumulation and migration in the environment are analyzed (JOPRAD EU project). Well developed methods for plutonium (238Pu, 239,240Pu), cesium (134Cs, 137Cs), americium (241Am, 243Am), strontium (89Sr, 90Sr), technetium (99Tc), iron (55Fe), nickel (63Ni) and lead (210Pb) isotope identification in different media. Mass spectrometry and chromatography methods serve for investigation of the processes in material sciences, biological and environmental objects. (IAEA Coordinated research project “Implementation of Methods of Stable H and O Isotopes for the Diary Products Origin Determination”).  Innovative approaches by using chemical and isotopic composition evaluation of micro impurities of the atmosphere allows of new methods introduction for physical and chemical processes studies in the atmosphere. Carbon isotopic ratio measurements by accelerator mass spectrometry are used in archaeological dating, environment and biology research, and technology development.  Research of the processes of interaction of high intensity light pulses with material and search of new materials sensitive to ionizing radiation for radiation detection purposes are carried out. The development of ion-beam analytical methods, materials analysis (RBS, PIXE) and modification of properties of semiconductor materials by high-energy heavy ion beam is carried out, as well as their application in the development of thin-layer technologies and installation in Lithuanian high-tech enterprises.
At the Department of Environmental Research investigates atmospheric pollution and the associated climate change, develops new environmental quality assessment methods and devices for environmental research. Based on the achieved expertise and competence in investigation of the atmospheric pollution levels including inorganic sulphur, nitrogen compounds and alkaline earth metals, the Department of Environmental Research is involved in the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (EMEP) programme, evaluates the temporal and spatial dissemination peculiarities of gaseous and aerosol pollutants and assess the influence of local and long-range anthropogenic and natural emissions sources on the formation of background atmospheric pollution levels in Lithuania. At the Environmental Physics and Chemistry Laboratory are carried out the long-term complex on-line investigations of aerosol particle number concentrations, size distribution and chemical composition, including mass spectrometry and Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) methods, that allow the assessment of the nature of aerosol particles and the sources apportionment by applying new advanced techniques and using modern spectrometric aerosol particle measurement equipment. An inventorization of air pollutants emissions from various economic and societal activities is also carried out. At the Atmospheric Pollution Research Laboratory an innovative method for the detection of mercury in the air was developed and a unique device for determining the elemental mercury component in air or other gases was designed. At the Radiochemistry Laboratory is carried out the synthesis of graphene oxide and graphene oxide, magnetite, Prussian blue and chitosan based nano-composites, their application to remove harmful metals (e.g., Co, Ni, Cu, Pb) and radionuclides (e.g., Cs, Pu, Am) from contaminated media, and preconcentration of metals and radionuclides from environmental samples for analytical purposes. Moreover, the radioanalytical methods are applied for the preparation of radionuclides (238,239,240,341Pu, 241Am, 242,243,244Cm, 90Sr, 55Fe, 63Ni) from various media for measurements, alpha and gamma spectrometry.
The competence of these methods is gathered
Department of Environmental Research (Head dr. S. Byčenkienė)
Department of Nuclear Research (Head dr. V. Remeikis)