The Government has announced funding worth £13 million to support nuclear research facilities in the UK.
It is providing around £5 million to the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) to start the process for commissioning the third phase of its Central Laboratory on the Sellafield site in Cumbria.
Phase 3 includes a suite of “hot-cells” able to handle the “most radioactive specimen on the planet”, NNL said.
Another £8 million is also being given to establish a Nuclear Fuel Centre of Excellence (NFCE). The cash will be used to provide shared equipment at NNL’s facilities in Preston and Cumbria and at The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute.
The new facility will work with fuel manufacturers and others for the development of advanced fuels for new reactor systems.
Paul Howarth, NNL’s Managing Director said: “These announcements represent a massive boost to nuclear research capability in the UK and demonstrate the commitment now being shown by Government to return the UK to the global ‘top table’ of nuclear nations.”
Engineering giant Toshiba’s US nuclear business Westinghouse is rumoured to be on the verge of buying a 50% stake in Britain’s NuGen, which plans to build up to 3.6GW of new nuclear at the Sellafield site.