The UK Government has awarded grants totalling £2.5 million for nuclear fuel and manufacturing research.
The National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and the University of Manchester will use the cash to establish facilities for the development of nuclear fuels with enhanced accident tolerance.
The fuels are being developed to improve resilience during extreme events that might result in a “station blackout”.
The researchers also aim to improve the economics and efficiency of existing and next generation reactors, including some designs of small modular reactors.
NNL said: “The development of this new capability will allow the scalability of manufacturing processes to be assessed as well as providing a test bed for the investigation of promising advanced fuel fabrication techniques.
“Facilities are also being developed to characterise novel accident tolerant fuel materials, including laser flash analysis to measure thermal diffusivity, dilatometry and trace impurity analysis.”
Researchers from outside the NNL will also be able to access the equipment through other research programmes.