The South West Nuclear Hub recently hosted the kick-off meeting for a major new project on structural integrity of nuclear materials. Project MAINTAiN, “Multi-scAle INTegrity assessment for Advanced high-temperature Nuclear systems”, is a three year project, funded by EPSRC.
The University of Bristol’s Dr Mahmoud Mostafavi (Lecturer in Nuclear Structural Integrity) is leading this project, with the universities of Oxford, Liverpool and Manchester as the other UK academic partners. EDF Energy, UKAEA, Wood Group and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are the other project partners.
The purpose of this project is to carry out experimental and theoretical work to develop a new multi-scale framework for assessing the creep performance of nuclear power plant components operating at high temperatures. The project will also consider the effect of microstructure effects on creep by measuring samples that have been subject to irradiation in both the UK and USA.
From operation of EDF Energy’s fleet of Advanced Gas-cooled Reactors (AGRs), the UK already has world-leading experience in long-term operations of high temperature nuclear reactor plant. This experience is supported by substantial UK academic and supply chain expertise in assessment of the structural integrity of nuclear plant components operating at high temperature. It is vital that the UK builds on this experience in order to play a leading role in the next generation of nuclear energy systems, such as Generation IV and nuclear fusion.
Project MAINTAiN will help to provide a foundation for a new generation of engineering structural integrity codes; this will be an invaluable asset for the UK to have a major contribution in designing, building and operating the next generation of nuclear power plants.
Solid Mechanics Research Group
The Solid Mechanics Research Group is part of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Bristol. You can read more about its work here: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/engineering/research/solids/