The Institute of Resource Ecology (IRE) is one of the currently eight institutes of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR). The research activities are fully integrated into the program ''Nuclear Safety Research'' of the Helmholtz Association and focused on the topics ''Safety of Nuclear Waste Disposal'' and ''Safety Research for Nuclear Reactors''. With the integration of the division of ''Reactor Safety'' from the former ''Institute of Safety Research'' nuclear research at HZDR is now mainly concentrated within this institute. In addition, various activities have been started investigating chemical and environmental aspects of processing and recycling of strategic metals, namely rare earth elements. Here, a knowledge transfer from the nuclear to the non-nuclear community, branching thermodynamics and spectroscopy, has been established. This also strengthens links to the recently established ''Helmholtz-Institute Freiberg for Resource Technology''.