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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W011697/1
Title: Nuclear Data Measurements for Advanced Nuclear Technologies
Principal Investigator: Wright, Dr T J
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Jacobs UK Limited National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) STFC Laboratories (Grouped)
Department: Physics and Astronomy
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 01 October 2022 Ends: 30 September 2027 Value (£): 851,897
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Energy - Nuclear
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 Feb 2022 Element Fellowship Interview Panel 15 and 16 February 2022 Announced
07 Dec 2021 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 7 and 8 December 2021 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The process of nuclear fission has been exploited as a virtually carbon-free energy source for many decades and it is set to play a major role within future global energy supplies. Advanced Nuclear Technologies are being developed which will serve to provide cheaper, safer and more efficient energy from nuclear fission. These advanced technologies will use new forms of nuclear fuel and designs of reactor which bring inherent technical and scientific challenges which must be tackled to ensure success. Specifically, a complete understanding of the physics governing the many processes involved within these technologies must be obtained. This understanding will come from detailed simulations and calculations and underlying these are the input nuclear data. These nuclear data quantify all the associated nuclear reactions that occur and govern the functionality of these systems. These data sets typically arise from detailed experiments which measure individual quantities to appropriate accuracies. This fellowship shall carry out nuclear data measurements of priority for Advanced Nuclear Technologies. Specifically, measurements of neutron induced fission, scattering and capture cross section measurements will be performed using a variety of techniques and experimental facilities.

Neutron cross sections describe the interaction probability of a neutron with a specific nuclide as a function of the incoming neutron's energy and are a key nuclear data input for many applications. These complex interactions cannot be predicted and therefore accurate cross sections must be found through experiment. In order to obtain the required data for advanced technologies, new experimental techniques and facilities must be developed and commissioned.

Firstly, neutron fission cross sections will be measured using a novel and innovative technique utilising transfer induced fission in inverse kinematics. Using exotic actinide beams at the ISOLDE, CERN facility the probability of fission and thus the cross section will be extracted using a new detection system based around the ISOLDE Solenoidal Spectrometer. This technique has the advantage that the isotope under study is in the form of a radioactive beam rather than a fixed target, allowing the cross sections of very short-lived and rare isotopes to be studied.

Secondly, neutron scattering cross sections will be measured at VESUVIO, ISIS where a sophisticated neutron spectroscopy setup already exists however has yet to be exploited for nuclear data measurements of importance for Advanced Nuclear Technologies.

Finally, neutron capture cross section measurements will be performed at facilities such as the world-leading neutron time-of-flight facility n_TOF, CERN which boasts the most intense pulsed-neutron source in the world and GELINA, JRC-GEEL where neutron cross section standards are measured.

Within these themes, the common goal and output will be the provision of nuclear data to specifically meet the UK's requirements to aid in the development and delivery of cutting-edge and world-leading Advanced Nuclear Technologies.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk