Professor Claude Degueldre

Chair in Nuclear Engineering

Research Overview

Claude has been working in Nuclear Science since 1971. After a master in nuclear chemistry and radiochemistry at the University of Liege (1972), he was awarded Doctor of Science in 1978 for a thesis on the electroanalytical chemistry of actinides. He also followed successfully a third cycle diploma in Geel/Mol (IRSN), Belgium. After 5 years at University of Algiers, working on analytical chemistry of uranium and teaching “Introduction à la structure de la matière”, he joined PSI, Switzerland where he spent 30 years as head of the Colloid project for the Nuclear Waste Management Laboratory, and expert for the contamination LWR loop, coordinator of the inert matrix fuel initiative and more recently head of the coordination group on nuclear analytics for the Laboratory of Nuclear Materials. He also organised the colloquia of the Nuclear Energy Division during his last 20 years at PSI. In the meantime he received his ‘habilitation’ at the University of Geneva where he gave lectures on “Impact d’un réacteur dans l’environnement” and “Comportement des radionuclides dans l’environnement” and where he performed part of his research on single nano-particle analysis. He has today approximately 200 publications in peer review journals including chapters in text books. He has chaired sessions and symposia, and organised conferences for the EMRS, the MRS and the IUMRS and is now member of the executive committee of the EMRS. He also was chair of sessions in the conference series TopFuel and TopSafe. Claude’s research interest is multidisciplinary and goes from environmental science to solid state physics. He focuses on the nuclear fuel cycles and their green options. His work deals with nuclear energy and nature with its economic background and the ecological challenges. Claude is also very concerned by nuclear safety giving high priority to this issue in his work. Today he emphasises research on single nano-particle analysis e.g. in repository ground water or in reactor water; on the characterisation of safety relevant fission products in fuels and cladding, and on physical chemistry of actinide isotopes and compounds. He also discusses the raison d’être of a significant fraction of nuclear energy in an optimal energy mixt as well as the place of nuclear energy in a better world.