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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V035886/1
Title: RadIAEM:Analytical Electron Microscope with in situ capability for beta, gamma active materials
Principal Investigator: Connolly, Dr BJ
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Diamond Light Source University of Birmingham University of Leeds
University of Oxford University of Sheffield
Department: Materials
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2021 Ends: 30 September 2023 Value (£): 562,874
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Nuclear
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
27 Jan 2021 NNUF Phase 2a Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project is related to the ambition for the UK low C future. Nuclear energy is a dependable low-C source for UK energy needs, and considerable research is in progress to develop improved advanced reactors to fill the increasing demand for power. Materials research and development is an essential part of advanced reactor system designs, and it is this area that is addressed in RadIAEM. The ability to study and optimize materials used in nuclear power systems requires the detailed analysis of the effects of neutron radiation on the nano-scale microstructure of materials, since the microstructure controls the materials behaviour. RadIAEM is an advanced Analytical Electron Microscope (AEM) dedicated for neutron-irradiated materials with the unique ability to view in real time nanoscale and microscale changes that can occur in the samples at elevated temperatures and also in a variety of gas environments. With RadIAEM (Radioactive In situ AEM) it will be possible to perform world-leading research that is essential to understand the microstructural effects of neutron irradiation on materials for advanced nuclear fission and fusion reactors. This type of research cannot be performed in universities as the samples of interest must be studied in a special laboratory, so we will establish a national RadIAEM user facility located at the UKAEA Materials Research Facility. RadIAEM will enable us to study nanoscale irradiation-induced features that cause hardening and changes in toughness as well as identify ways that we can tailor microstructures to provide improved performance. The novel in-situ capability permit specimens to be heated up to 1000C as the research scientist studies the change in nanoscale microstructure and the nanoscale changes in composition. The reaction of irradiated materials (steels, nickel alloys, graphite and other materials) with various gaseous environments of interest in advanced reactors can also be investigated in RadIAEM. RadIAEM will benefit from the wealth of electron microscopy and in situ Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) expertise at the Universities of Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford and Sheffield as well as from the major experts at UKAEA, electron Physical Science Imaging Centre (ePSIC) and SuperSTEM. It will also be possible to study a wide range of materials using a variety of AEM-based techniques using RadIAEM, and also provide the ability to work with various types of TEM samples. RadIAEM will also provide advanced training in TEM diffraction-based analysis of irradiation-induced defects, general AEM training, and training in the unique and exciting in situ techniques to nuclear materials scientists, especially the young researchers, who will be tomorrow's nuclear scientists and engineers.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk