Tag Archives | Nuclear Institute Western Branch

Introduction to the UK EPR Design Centre

Tilly Spencer (Edvance UK Director) and Nicolas Courade (Edvance UK Head of Site Support) will talk to the Nuclear Institute Western Branch network about EDVANCE UK and the new UK EPR Design Centre. The ongoing ‘Engineering Transformation’ involving these organisations will create a UK centre of design expertise for EPR reactor construction, based on EDVANCE UK and DIPNN UK experience. These organisations will support Hinkley Point C, Sizewell C and other future UK Projects from Aztec West in the north of Bristol.


Please register for this webinar via the Nuclear Institute website.

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NI Western Branch Speaking Competition

The Nuclear Institute Western Branch Speaking Competition will take place on Thursday 16th July via webinar. It is open to those under 37; the qualifying age for the Nuclear Institute Young Generation Network.

Participants will give a ten minute presentation on "Any topic directly related to nuclear energy". The winner will receive £300 and advance to the national final. Second place wins £200, third place wins £100 and the Best Abstract will also win £100.


You can register to view this event via the Nuclear Institute here

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NI Western Branch – Molten Salt Reactors

The talk will cover Moltex’s innovative research into Molten Salt Reactors and introduce their MSR family which includes a fast spectrum Waste Burner and a thermal spectrum uranium burner. The focus will be on the design principle of putting elimination of risk ahead of engineered management of risk and achieving the cost reductions that ensue.

  • Refreshments 18:30 for a 19:00 start
  • Pugsley Lecture Theatre, Queen's Building, Bristol University, BS8 1TR
  • Presented by Ian Scott, Moltex


The event is free to attend but please register via Eventbrite:

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A Joint Lecture with :

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NIWB Seminar: Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories Group

In collaboration with the Nuclear Institute Western Branch, UWE Bristol will host an evening seminar looking at the history of the work carried out at the Berkeley Power station and the activities being carried out there today.

Key information

  • Tuesday 12th November 2019
  • Tea and Coffee 18:00 for a 18:30 start
  • Room 2B20, B Block, University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, Bristol, BS16 1QY
  • Speaker: Geoff Wheeler, Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories Group


The event starts at 6pm for refreshments with the talk beginning at 6.30pm.

Please register via the eventbrite page.

Register on Eventbrite

Talk synopsis

When the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) was set up in 1957 to run the power stations in England and Wales it was expected that the electricity supply industry should be in the forefront of the major industries organising and applying research and development on an extensive scale.

The CEGB’s Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories were created to service and support the Board’s nuclear power stations, as well as carry out relevant fundamental work. A major part of the R&D activities at Berkeley related to the reactor systems in operation – Magnox power stations, of which Berkeley was one of the first in 1962, and the Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor stations that are still generating electricity.

The cave lines in the shielded area for post-irradiation examination of reactor components.

Many studies were also carried out on the Pressurised Water Reactor system, like at the operating Sizewell ‘B’ station in Suffolk and the proposed Hinkley Point ‘C’ station in Somerset. Other work investigated possible future reactors that could be used in power stations, like the Fast Reactor.

At any one time about 750 staff worked at the Laboratories with about 200 professional scientists and engineers supported by highly qualified technicians, skilled designers and craftspeople, together with the necessary administration staff. Many staff members lived locally including Cam, Dursley and the surrounding villages where they had a not insignificant effect on local organisations; and more than one generation in local families worked either at the Laboratories or the power station.

A view of the pile cap on the zero-energy reactor at BNL

One outstanding success in engineering was the development of methods to analyse the complex stresses in reactor structures. These advanced computer techniques were able to predict the behaviour of reactor components and became the basis of methods used worldwide to predict the behaviour of large-scale engineering structures.  To complement the theoretical work, comprehensive testing facilities were set up, including at the disused Breakheart Quarry in North Nibley, where components could be tested to destruction.

BNL built a single shielded building (still standing) in which various assemblies of a zero-energy reactor could be erected and dismantled to study reactor core conditions to compare measurements and theoretical modelling. In fuel management alone the reactor proved its worth.

Examination of irradiated fuel in the Shielded area of the Laboratories and fundamental work on the properties of the fuel and its cladding led to large increases in the discharge irradiation of both Magnox and AGR fuel.

These few examples exemplify the type of research projects that went into enhancing the operational efficiency and safety of the CEGB’s nuclear stations.  Many more could be quoted. BNL scientists did not work in isolation and there were many examples of co-operation with industrial and university research, both in the UK and overseas. Much of the work attained worldwide recognition and formed the basis for future research into electricity generation using nuclear power.

Venue information

For information on how to get to UWE Frenchay Campus and for parking, please see: https://www1.uwe.ac.uk/about/visitus/campusmapsandinformation/frenchaycampus/frenchaycampusmaps.aspx

Core parking hours on site are 9am-5pm. If parking outside of these times you will still need to validate your parking ticket in the pay machine, but will not be charged. You are advised to use Car Park 2 or 3 for this event.

Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories Group

The members of the Berkeley Research group are all ex scientists and technicians who worked at Berkeley Nuclear Laboratories. The Group is compiling a history of the staff, their work and achievements at the Laboratories, which was opened in 1961 and was operational for nearly 40 years.

Nuclear Institute Western Branch

The Nuclear Institute Western Branch covers one of the key centres of the nuclear industry in the U.K. and one where activity is growing. In response to this, Western branch is constantly building on our already impressive line-up of activities and events, to respond to the demands of the blossoming community.

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NIWB Seminar: National Grid Hinkley Connection

National Grid Hinkley Connection - Neil Adams

Have you ever wondered what goes into connecting a nuclear power station?

Find out about National Grid’s role in the electricity industry and our project to connect Hinkley Point C. The talk will cover consenting and system options, substations, underground cables, T-pylons and reconfiguring the local electricity network, plus plenty of the challenges we face along the way.


The event starts at 6.30pm for refreshments with the talk beginning at 7pm.

Register on Eventbrite

Nuclear Institute Western Branch

The Nuclear Institute Western Branch covers one of the key centres of the nuclear industry in the U.K. and one where activity is growing. In response to this, Western branch is constantly building on our already impressive line-up of activities and events, to respond to the demands of the blossoming community.

Continue Reading

Nuclear Institute YGN Speaking Competition

The competition is open to anyone under the age of 37 at the time of the competition, you do not need to be a member of the Nuclear Institute.   The talk can be on "Any nuclear, energy or environmental subject, whether technical, social or personal".

The competition will be held at EDF’s Bridgewater House office in central Bristol on Wednesday 24th July.

NI YGN Western Branch Heat, as part of the annual Speaking Competition - interesting topics, food, drink and networking!

The schedule for the evening is:

  • 5pm to 6pm - Networking, food and drinks in our canteen area
  • 6pm to 8.30pm - Speaking Competition, hearing from 6 engaging speakers
  • 8.30pm onwards - Further networking

Register to attend

You must register for this event or you will be denied entry.

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Bradwell Power Station: Transition to Care and Maintenance

The Nuclear Institute Western Branch returns to the University with an evening lecture on Tuesday 22nd January 2019, presented by Ben Bridgewater and Steve Huntley, Magnox.

  • Tea and Coffee 18:30 for a 19:00 start
  • Queen’s Engineering Building, University of Bristol, BS8 1TL


A Joint Lecture with    and 

Bradwell Power Station Transition to Care and Maintenance

In November 2018 Magnox achieved a significant first for the UK nuclear industry, delivering Bradwell Site into a Care and Maintenance state.  A huge amount of effort from across the industry has been directed at achieving this milestone over the past ca. 10 years.

This presentation gives an overview of the work undertaken, the challenges overcome and the future plans for the first UK power station site placed into C&M.


Register for free on the Eventbrite page: bradwellniwb.eventbrite.co.uk 

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Diamonds for nuclear decommissioning – WEMMA/NIWB seminar

The next WEMMA lecture will be on ‘Diamonds for nuclear decommissioning’.  The lecture will be given by Chris Hutson from the University of Bristol

  • Date: Wednesday 12th December
  • Venue: Enderby room, HH Wills Physics laboratory, Tyndall Avenue, Bristol BS8 1TL.
  • Time: Refreshments will be available from 18:30, with the lecture starting at 19.00.

The talk will cover: Nuclear sensors, measuring high intensities of radiation at Sellafield and future plans for Fukushima clean up.

To help with planning the lecture, please register at the link below


Nuclear Institute Western Branch

The Western Branch of the Nuclear Institute is one of the key centres of the nuclear industry in the UK and one where activity is growing. In response to this, the Western Branch is constantly building on our already impressive line-up of activities and events, to respond to the demands of the blossoming community.

West of England Metals and Materials Association (WEMMA)

The West of England Metals and Materials Association (WEMMA) is affiliated to Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3). It aims to provide a service to all materials professionals in the West of England by organising talks and events and providing a focus for discussions. WEMMA lectures are accredited for professional development by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. On request, those attending will receive an official Professional Development Certificate for their log.  www.wemma.org.uk

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NI Western Branch seminar: BWR Water Chemistry

The lecture is about BWR water chemistry and how it has developed to manage plant issues that have been discovered during development of the BWR design.  The presentation will be by Olivia Collier from Horizon Nuclear Power and Brian Handy from Wood Group and will give some insights to the chemistry regime proposed for the ABWR being built by Horizon at Wylfa Newydd.

The presentation will be at Bristol University School of Chemistry with refreshments from 18:30 for a 19:00 start.

The lecture is free and open to all with no need to pre-register.

This is a Joint Lecture between the Nuclear Institute Western Branch and the Royal Society of Chemistry.


Talk Contents

The different types of water reactor have different requirements on their water chemistry regime which enable the operators to control parameters to manage factors such as reactivity and operator doses.
This presentation will give a detailed technical overview of the way in which BWR water chemistry management has evolved to help manage plant issues discovered during operation and development of the BWR, giving some details of the regime to be adopted on the ABWR proposed for Wylfa. The presentation will show how water chemistry has:

• Reduced Stress Corrosion Cracking in the Reactor Vessel
• Reduced Operator Doses in the Turbine Hall and Water Treatment Plant
• Reduced Flow Assisted Corrosion in the Feedwater System

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NI Western Branch Seminar: the story of the UK HPR1000 reactor

The Nuclear Institute Western Branch evening seminar programme returns in September. The guest speakers are Chris Quick, Lead Project Correspondent (Design) at General Nuclear System, on behalf of EDF, and Miss Liu Man of General Nuclear System, on behalf of China General Nuclear.

  • Time: 6.30pm (refreshments from 6pm)
  • Location: Pugsley Lecture Theatre, Queen's School of Engineering, University of Bristol


The UK HPR1000 technology that is currently undergoing UK Regulatory assessment under the GDA framework. The presentation will cover:
• The history and evolution of the HPR1000 technology, including some key features of the design
• The progress through the GDA process so far, including key areas of risk when imposing UK expectations
• Some personal reflections on the challenges associated with bringing non-UK designs into the UK context, including prescriptive vs. target setting regulation and demonstration of ALARP & BAT


Sign-up via the Eventbrite page hpr1000.eventbrite.co.uk

Venue Information

The following link gives information and maps on how to get to the University of Bristol: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/maps/directions/ 

Related Event

You may also be interested in the Nuclear South West/South West Nuclear Hub Annual Conference on 18th/19th September. There will be a pre-conference dinner directly after this lecture at the Mercure Grand Hotel, Bristol with the conference on the following day.

More information can be found here: nuclearconference2018.eventbrite.co.uk


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