Transport of radioactive waste along the Sellafield shoreline: climate change impact and mitigation strategies through nature based solutions


This opportunity will close as soon as a suitable candidate has been found and so early applications are encouraged.  

Numerical modelling will be applied to examine the relative significance of waves, storms and sea-level rise on coastal erosion and sediment transport for the wider Sellafield shoreline and adjacent waters. The fate of sediments labelled with Sellafield radionuclides will also be investigated to assess the effects of remobilized legacy waste on the environment. The numerical modelling environment will provide a tool for assessing the effectiveness of ‘nature-based’ interventions at the coast that aim to mitigate erosion and flood risk, thus providing a tool for stakeholders to explore different management options.

The student will spend time at NNL to understand the environmental and policy contexts within which decisions regarding the management and storage of nuclear waste are made. This will involve working alongside NNL colleague to become acquainted with the focus and demands of their research and assessment.

Methodology and Approach:

We will use the fluid dynamics package Delft3D. Delft3D is a numerical model composed of a number of integrated modules. Together, they allow the simulation of hydrodynamic flow, sediment transport and related bed evolution, short-wave generation and propagation, and the modelling of water quality parameters. The Delft3D-FLOW module is able to solve the unsteady shallow-water equations in two and three dimensions. The sediment transport and morphology modules account for bed and suspended load transport of cohesive and non-cohesive sediments and for the exchange of sediments between the bed and the flow.

The numerical model will be adapted to include different decay rates to account for different radioactive elements.

We will conduct ensemble simulations to evaluate the contribution of different storms intensities and frequency and of various sea level rise scenarios to the remobilization of mudflat and shoreline sediments. 

To apply for the GREEN CDT, please send your full name, your email address and a brief CV to .

Reference website with eligibility info and application instructions is:

For any enquiries please contact Dr Leonardi on