Loughborough University awarded major grant for nuclear materials research
Loughborough University is joining forces with five other academic institutions to help enhance understanding of the performance of the materials used in the next generation of nuclear reactors.
Energy security concerns and the need to limit carbon emissions have put replacement of the country’s nuclear power stations back on the agenda.
For this £1.75 million EPSRC funded project researchers will investigate how to improve the long-term structural performance of materials where service conditions at nuclear plants are exposed to high temperatures, aggressive chemical environments, radiation influences and complex load histories. It is critical under these conditions to understand the materials’ stability and degradation and monitor their condition.
The output from the research will greatly benefit industrial partners and the UK engineering and science community. As nuclear fission expands, there will be an increased need for the development of future designs, life extension for maximum economic impact and improved techniques for safety assessment.
The project is being led by The Open University and features academics from Imperial College London and the Universities of Bristol, Manchester and Oxford, as well as Loughborough.
Mike Fitzpatrick, Lloyd’s Register Educational Trust Professor of Materials Fabrication and Engineering at The Open University said: “We will integrate our work on the long term behaviour of materials to gain better understanding of their performance. This is especially critical if future nuclear fission technologies are to operate at high temperatures and for the long lifetimes required to be economically competitive with the less sustainable options for electricity or heat generation.”