The student exchange of Petra Baják (PhD student, ELTE) was organised for the development of skills in radionuclide transport modelling in groundwater. The training focused on multidimensional multicomponent reactive transport modelling to evaluate how radionuclides move in groundwater. The student was also involved in the use of numerical models which also aimed at developing predictions about the protection of drinking wells from radionuclide contamination. In the frame of this occasion, Petra spent 49 days (10 October-27 November 2021) at the Department of Earth Sciences “Ardito Desio” (University of Milan) and got training on reactive transport modelling under the supervision of Daniele Pedretti.

During the exchange, Petra could gain insight into the ongoing projects of the other ENeRAG participants at the UNIMI and she introduced her research to the others, too. However, the main goal of Petra’s exchange was to continue the fruitful cooperation between her and Daniele Pedretti by improving the 1D geochemical model that they already prepared and which explains the uranium specification processes in a siliciclastic aquifer in Hungary.

 First, they outlined a simplified theoretical groundwater flow model, based on literature data and on the preliminary results of the groundwater flow mapping in the study area. Then they quantified this conceptual model and built a steady-state groundwater flow model by using Processing MODFLOW. After calibration of the model, the PHT3D code was used to model the uranium transport in the groundwater.

In-person meetings were organised twice during this two-month visit to evaluate and discuss the results and difficulties of the modelling exercise. Moreover, the scope of a joint paper was formulated, and follow-up discussions will be organised online.