A large programme of projects looking into nuclear decommissioning has been announced, that will see a consortium of 11 universities collaborate with industry on over 40 projects with funding totalling over £9m. This includes Hub members the universities of Bristol and Southampton, as well as Cavendish Nuclear.
Building on a core grant of £4.6 million from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), AWE, Cavendish Nuclear, Low Level Waste Repository Ltd, National Nuclear Laboratory, Radioactive Waste Management Ltd, Sellafield Ltd and TUV SUD Nuclear Technologies are all supporting the programme through direct funding and/or supervisory expertise, use of facilities and researcher training.
The PhD and Post-Doctoral researchers working on the projects will be supervised by experts from both academia and industry, the latter allowing for maximum 2-way technical knowledge transfer.
Transformative Science and Engineering for Nuclear Decommissioning: the TRANSCEND programme
The programme will be known as TRANSCEND (Transformative Science and Engineering for Nuclear Decommissioning), the work builds on 2 previous programmes, DIAMOND and DISTINCTIVE, the former having concluded in 2013, with the latter due to finish in early 2019.
The formal launch of this programme took place in mid-September, where representatives of the participating organisations gathered in Leeds.
Reaction from Hub Membership
Professor Tom Scott, who will lead Bristol's involvement with Dr Ross Springell, said: "this grant builds on the success of the DISTINCTIVE research project and leverages the unique expertise at Bristol in uranium and its compounds. This work will have a positive impact and change for the UK nuclear industry in making nuclear waste safe".
Professor Andy Cundy of the University of Southampton said: "the TRANSCEND project represents a major investment by UK government, industry and Universities into urgently needed research, and into supporting the UK science and engineering skills base.
We look forward to working with the TRANSCEND consortium, including our collaborators in the South West Nuclear Hub, to develop innovative technologies and new solutions for nuclear site decommissioning and management".
The full press release from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/collaborative-decommissioning-research-transcends-the-individual-approach
The EPSRC grant for TRANSCEND: Transformative Science and Engineering for Nuclear Decommissioning is available here: http://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/S01019X/1
The full consortium of 11 universities, to be led by the University of Leeds includes:
- Imperial College London
- Lancaster University
- Queen’s University Belfast
- University of Birmingham
- University of Bristol
- University of Leeds
- University of Manchester
- University of Sheffield
- University of Southampton
- University of Strathclyde
- University of Surrey