A group of MSc Nuclear Science and Engineering students from the University of Bristol recently participated in a week-long training programme at the Materials Ageing Institute (MAI), EDF Lab Les Renardières, Paris.
This exchange is part of a three-year training agreement between the South West Nuclear Hub and the EDF Materials Ageing Institute. Every year as part of the agreement, two or more students will be offered the opportunity to go to the MAI for a week to receive high-end nuclear training. This is the second year that students from the University of Bristol have attended the MAI, following the first two students participating in January 2018.
This training is delivered by academics and by industrial stakeholders such as EDF or the French Regulatory Authority. Courses are taught in English, and students attend the course alongside MSc students from the Grenoble’s Institut Nationale de Physique.
Student feedback on the trip
Maithah Alaleeli was one of the students who attended. Speaking of her experience she said: “Overall, the training programme was a great personal investment. The lectures explored a wide range of topics on nuclear power plants, many of which were closely related to our university studies as well as individual research projects.
I also had the opportunity to network and interact with students from different parts of the world that share a similar mind-set towards nuclear energy.”
Jim Hayman, another of the students to attend, said:
"The MAI training week presented an excellent opportunity to meet and network with fellow nuclear science students and future industry professionals. The week was focussed on providing an in depth understanding of the principal mechanisms of material ageing in the nuclear power setting, primarily in relation to stress-corrosion cracking in steels but also with valuable insight on concrete and polymers.
The content was highly complimentary to my studies so far on the Nuclear Science and Engineering MSc at Bristol, with a good mix of theoretical information and practical industry examples and case studies. I certainly see that that the information I have taken away will likely serve as a useful reference whilst completing my studies, as well as during employment in the nuclear sector thereafter.
The laboratory tours were a nice touch, perhaps the most impressive being the 1:3 scale containment vessel. Representative of most Pressurised Water Reactor containment buildings, it is used to study the ageing mechanisms in concrete and its reinforcements on an accelerated basis."
The Materials Ageing Institute is a utility-oriented research centre founded by EDF in 2008 and co-financed by partners from the USA, Russia, UK, Japan and France. The main purpose of this collaborative effort is to bring together scientific skills and research facilities to address ageing of materials used in electric power plants, and particularly in nuclear power plants.