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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S01019X/1
Title: TRANSCEND: Transformative Science and Engineering for Nuclear Decommissioning
Principal Investigator: Fairweather, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Springell, Dr RS Renshaw, Dr JC Kaltsoyannis, Professor N
Currell, Professor F Cundy, Professor A Leay, Dr L
Corkhill, Professor C Hunter, Dr T Read, Professor D
Scott, Professor TB Hyatt, Professor N Boxall, Professor C
Hriljac, Dr J Lunn, Professor RJ Vandeperre, Professor LJ
Wong, Professor HS Murphy, Dr S Allan, Dr P
Sacchi, Dr M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr S Sun
Project Partners:
AWE Babcock International Group Plc (UK) National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL)
Nuclear Decomissioning Authority TUV SUD (UK)
Department: Chemical and Process Engineering
Organisation: University of Leeds
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2018 Ends: 30 September 2023 Value (£): 4,587,420
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Nuclear
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
05 Jun 2018 DISTINCTIVE/PACIFIC Interview Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
UK government is committed to nuclear energy having an important role in delivering a secure, low-carbon and affordable energy future, with their aspirations for new build power stations and life extension of the existing fleet described in policy documents. Successful delivery of this policy recognises the need for research and development, skills development and international collaboration as key enablers. A central component is the need to demonstrate our ability to safely manage and dispose of civil nuclear waste. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is responsible for the delivery of policy aims with respect to legacy waste, with Radioactive Waste Management charged with the delivery of a geological disposal facility and waste management solutions. EPSRC strategy is to maintain investment in nuclear fission research, recognising nuclear power as having an important role in the future low-carbon energy mix, with a strategic focus being research underpinning the decommissioning, immobilisation and management of nuclear waste. Central components of all these strategies are "a joined-up approach to nuclear R&D across government, industry and academia which...benefit(s) the UK economy" and, of benefit to UK industry, that establishes it "as a global leader in waste management and decommissioning" (see Case for Support).

The successful delivery of decommissioning, immobilisation and management of nuclear waste solutions also impacts on public acceptance of any new build programme. In relation to any geological disposal facility, there is a need to demonstrate an ability to safely manage and dispose of waste from legacy operations, with studies of public attitudes showing that acceptance of such a facility is directly linked to having viable routes for the safe clean-up and disposal of any waste.

These strategies rely on further research and development being delivered over the next 10-20 years. The work of the consortium is part of the response to this need, providing support to an internationally leading group of researchers in this key area. The work will contribute to the health of nuclear fission research, and through developments within specific disciplines, to areas beyond nuclear. It addresses key societal challenges in relation to productive and resilient nation outcomes through the development of next generation technologies and by ensuring effective and affordable solutions for waste treatment. It will also contribute to the building of public confidence in waste management solutions, and assist the acceptance of nuclear power, as well as contributing to UK economic success by maintaining our position as a world leader in waste management research, and in assisting industry to maintain its world leading position.

The consortium comprises key industry partners and leading academic researchers from 11 research intensive universities with significant expertise in nuclear research and development. The research proposed is multi-disciplinary and covers fundamental and applied topics, including 40 research projects clustered into 4 technical themes. The consortium is made up of established researchers from a diverse range of backgrounds, who are all leaders in their field, with a track-record of innovation and problem solving in the nuclear area. It also comprises many early career researchers who, as well as having relevant nuclear-related expertise, are included to provide them with invaluable experience of a large consortium project, and to further develop their profile and influence, as they mature into leaders in the field. The consortium builds upon and consolidates the work of the previous EPSRC-funded project DISTINCTIVE (Decommissioning, Immobilisation and Storage Solutions for Nuclear Waste Inventories, EP/L014041/1), bringing together researchers from a larger group of universities and increasing the multi-disciplinary nature of the group to extend and develop the academic skills base within the UK.

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Organisation Website: http://www.leeds.ac.uk