CEA Visits the South West: Future of Structural Integrity Work Solidified

In October we welcomed technical experts and laboratory leads from The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, CEA ISAS) to The South West Nuclear Hub for a flying two-day visit with the aim to explore the future of our ongoing collaboration.

The proceedings were kicked off with a visit to the Hinkley Point C visitor centre and construction site: a fantastic symbol of the close collaborations between the UK and France with regard to the UK’s civil nuclear programme. Postgrads and Master’s students on the University’s Nuclear Science and Engineering course also joined us on the trip!

Professor Mahmoud Mostafavi, co-Director, South West Nuclear Hub said:

“It was a great privilege to have our colleagues from CEA visiting the Hub and the University of Bristol. There is a huge amount of complimentary work, enthusiasm, and common interest shared by the Hub and CEA and we are really excited to realise their potential through joint projects, secondments, and knowledge transfer. Our work together in the past few years in the area of structural integrity has shown the value of this relationship and we are very keen to expand this ongoing collaboration to other areas.”

Fun in the HPC visitor centre!

University of Bristol academics, David Manley (the Dean of Science and Engineering), Nicolas Godard, Deputy Nuclear Counsellor of the Embassy of France and representatives from CEA ISAS, EDF (UK), EPR Engineering and the South West Nuclear Hub then took part in facilities tours and discussions of ways our ongoing partnerships can continue to make a positive impact on the industry.

Dr Pierre-Yves Thro, Head of Communication unit at ISAS said:

“We were pleased to see that we have so many shared subjects of interest after the detailed discussions we had with our colleagues of the University of Bristol. We were also impressed by the lab visits which also generated highly interesting exchanges. We are looking forward to welcoming our colleagues to our institute in Saclay, France in the near future.”

It was fantastic to participate in such a fruitful and enthusiastic dialogue which saw experts from the University sharing their knowledge and work on a range of topics, and our CEA colleagues in turn shared their work and research interests which will contribute to future collaborations. Work throughout this collaboration has focused on structural integrity, which accounts for an extensive variety of areas of interest: corrosion, systems and structures, infrastructure resistance to earthquakes and much more.

An informative excursion down to HPC

Dr Clementine Jacquemoud, a CEA Visiting Scientist at the South West Nuclear Hub coordinated the visit, and is really pleased with the outcomes of the meeting:

“Two years after the signature of the first research agreement, I’m so pleased that we managed to make the British and French teams meet in person. It was such a pleasure to see people’s interest during the lab tours and everyone’s involvement in the fruitful discussions we had and will carry on. This wouldn’t have been possible online! Thank you to all the participants. These two days have shown that the hard work we’ve done so far on structural integrity projects can be expanded to other topics and projects.”

Looking forward to the future

Tom Robinson, Research & Strategy Manager for the South West Nuclear Hub said:

“It was a pleasure to host the CEA-ISAS at the University of Bristol and the South West Nuclear Hub. The visit demonstrated the vast potential for collaboration between the UK and France, stimulated by the Governments’ March 2023 Statement of Cooperation, and highlights the international reputation of the South West for nuclear research and innovation. The vast potential for collaboration between the two institutions will cover the entire nuclear fuel cycle and span a broad range of disciplines. I look forward to future partnerships and even greater success.”

Thank you so much to CEA and each person who contributed to a fantastic couple of days. ⚛

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