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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/G037140/1
Title: Nuclear Fission Research, Science and Technology DTC (Nuclear FiRST)- Underpinning UK Energy and Defence Strategies
Principal Investigator: Livens, Professor F
Other Investigators:
Hyatt, Professor N
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
University of Sheffield
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Centre for Doctoral Training
Starts: 01 October 2009 Ends: 31 March 2018 Value (£): 7,074,065
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Chemical Synthetic Methodology Energy - Nuclear
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Nuclear fission technology is an essential component of both UK energy resources and defence strategy. The UK Government has recently signalled its support both for a new generation of nuclear power stations and a continuing independent UK nuclear deterrent and, at the same time, we have started a decades-long, > 70 bn programme to clean up the UK's legacy nuclear wastes. All of these activities involve hazardous radioactive materials, so it is clear that the UK will need expertise in the physics, chemistry, materials science and environmental behaviour of radionuclides for many years to come. At the same time, there is an acute skills shortage, with demand for graduate recruits between 2002 and 2017 estimated at 1000 per year. This expertise will be needed if we are to process and separate radionuclides, fabricate them into materials, understand the in-service performance of such materials, treat wastes from processing, remediate contaminated sites and predict the environmental mobility of radionuclides in nuclear waste disposal. This Doctoral Training Centre will address three key scientific challenges:1. Strategic Nuclear Materials- behaviour of nuclear materials, principally uranium and plutonium in service, in storage and in the disposal environment;2. Radioactive Wastes - properties of the diverse range of wastes which exists, and technologies for their conversion into safe wasteforms; 3. Radionuclides in the Environment- conversion of radioactive wastes into stable wasteforms, behaviour in the repository environment, rates and forms of release, environmental transport and radiological impact. In addition, we identify a cross-cutting topic, which fundamentally influences all three themes:4. Radiation Effects- modification of behaviour and properties as result if irradiation, ranging from changes in physical properties to chemical effects, and stochastic and non-stochastic biological effects of importance in human exposure.To address these scientific challenges, we will develop underpinning skills in two key areas:5. Radioelement Chemistry. Characteristics of key radioelements; definition of physico-chemical form (speciation) in the solid state and in aqueous and non-aqueous solution; thermodynamics; kinetics; spectroscopy; characterisation of complexes; redox chemistry; hydrolysis 6. Materials Science. Behaviour of materials relevant to nuclear science including metallics, ceramics (including glasses) and polymers; radionuclide contamination (and decontamination) of materials surfaces; measurement and modelling of materials degradation of advanced fuels, moderators and wasteforms.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk