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With the support of the ANR, the LabCom TESMARAC was launched in July 2021. The LabCom TESMARAC is a virtual joint laboratory between the laboratories of research organisations led by the Subatech laboratory (under the supervision of the CNRS, Nantes University and ’IMT Atlantique) and Triskem International.

Actors in the various nuclear sectors (nuclear medicine, environment, nuclear power cycle and associated industrial processes) and outside the nuclear sector (on the issue of TE-NORM (Technology-Enhanced, Naturally-Occuring Radioactive Materials) and the safety authorities have expressed a strong interest in the use of specific resins to identify and quantify radioisotopes in various matrices for waste management, risk reduction or for the recovery of materials, or even elements that are still of economic interest (rare earths, critical metals).

The aim of the TESMARAC project is to meet these needs through the development of new resins and new specific supports as well as the research and development of new separation/preconcentration methods with existing supports for the separation, measurement and quantification of "DTM" ("difficult to measure radionuclide") radioisotopes at the trace level, in complex media.

The innovation is ensured thanks to the pooling of knowledge and know-how from the Subatech laboratory, the project leader (expertise in radiochemistry and nuclear metrology), and the TRISKEM company (specialised in the manufacture and development of highly selective resins).

The innovative approach is reinforced by a partnership with the ModES (Modelling and Spectroscopy) team of the CEISAM (Chemistry and Interdisciplinarity, Synthesis, Analysis, Modelling) laboratory at the University of Nantes, which is developing in-silico approaches through molecular modelling tools.

The main issues of the TESMARAC LabCom concern

i Classification and management of radioactive waste,
ii The revalorisation of materials
iii Evaluation of the impact of radioactivity on humans
iv The manufacture of radionuclides for medical purposes (diagnostic and therapy)

This joint laboratory therefore enables the research organisations to contribute their cutting-edge knowledge in support of important societal issues and to enhance their expertise in addition to their more academic research activities, towards industrial innovation. It also allows TRISKEM INTERNATIONAL to combine its application research with bottom-up molecular recognition approaches to create synergy and innovation. The creation and commercialisation of new products/processes will have a direct impact on the growth of the company and the sustainability of the joint laboratory.

Michaela Langer, President of TRISKEM INTERNATIONAL said: "We are very pleased with the launch of the TESMARAC LabCom. This project is a natural extension of our collaboration with the Subatech laboratory, which has already proven itself in numerous research and development projects, and thus allows us to exploit many of the areas of activity we share. The geographical proximity of the Subatech and TRISKEM laboratories facilitates the implementation of the TESMARAC LabCom by offering complementary technical means and reinforces the close collaboration of the R&D teams. This project is a fine example of the spirit of innovation in our Grand-Ouest region.

Gines Martinez, Director of Subatech (UMR 6457 CNRS, IMT Atlantique, University of Nantes) said: "It is with great pleasure that the Subatech laboratory welcomes its first joint laboratory, TESMARAC, with the Rennes-based company TRISKEM INERNATIONAL, with the support of the ANR. TESMARAC will allow the valorisation of research carried out within Subatech for many years, in particular within the radiochemistry team, part of whose activities are focused on the problem of the management and recycling of nuclear waste and radionuclides in the environment. I would like to point out the relevance and vision of this project, which was intelligently conceived by the Subatech and TRISKEM teams under the direction of Gilles MONTAVON and Steffen HAPPEL. I am convinced that TESMARAC will have a long life and great success in the years to come.