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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I034106/1
Title: Core UK Equipment Base for Characterisation and Analysis of Highly Radioactive Materials
Principal Investigator: Livens, Professor F
Other Investigators:
Koehler, Dr SPK Pimblott, Professor SM Heath, Professor SL
Bryan, Dr N Natrajan, Dr LS
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2010 Ends: 31 October 2013 Value (£): 1,578,220
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Nuclear
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Academic nuclear fission research has increased over the last ten years from a base of around zero to a current portfolio about 38M (typically 8-9M/annum). Both industry and the extensive UK university network involved in nuclear research have stressed the importance of research using authentic, and thus by definition highly radioactive, materials. While a few UK universities routinely use small quantities of radioactive materials in their own laboratories, the only facility in the UK that could be accessed by university researchers for work on highly radioactive materials is the NNL's Central Laboratory.Due to the absence of suitable facilities and equipment, any nuclear research carried out by UK academia is restricted either to simulants or to limited programmes carried out overseas. While the quality of science is good within these constraints, all overseas competitors now have access to specialised facilities in national laboratories and work based on simulants is increasingly seen as falling below the normal quality benchmark. Any credible UK research programme must therefore have at its foundation the ability to work with and characterise highly radioactive samples. The UK also faces major R&D and skills challenges in many areas of nuclear science and technology, which can only be met by a concerted, cross-disciplinary, cross-institutional programme of research and training built around close collaboration between industry, regulators and academia. This programme must be underpinned by facilities not just for the preparation of highly radioactive samples, but also for their characterisation. Since Central Laboratory is presently geared towards industrially driven development in which characterisation is a lesser priority, its capability in this area needs to be significantly enhanced. The provision of state-of-the-art analysis and characterisation facilities will therefore support research across all of the UK's priority nuclear research themes, and thus benefit the entire nuclear academic sector. We therefore propose to establish a core equipment base could be established in the National Nuclear Laboratory's Central Laboratory. This would be unique in the UK and facilitate world class fundamental research. Priority areas are spectroscopy and electron optics
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Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk