Nuclear experts and academics tackle radioactive waste challenges

A new research programme is supporting 40 projects lasting up to four years each

By Priyanka Shrestha

A new £9.4 million research programme will help link nuclear industry experts with academics and PhD students in the UK to tackle radioactive waste challenges.

Dubbed TRANSCEND – Transformative Science and Engineering for Nuclear Decommissioning – it will consist of 40 projects lasting up to four years each to help build the next generation of nuclear experts as well as develop technical solutions in dealing with decommissioning.

The research topics to be explored include integrated waste management, site decommissioning and remediation, spent fuel and nuclear materials.

The University of Leeds will lead a consortium of 11 universities, including Imperial College London, Lancaster, Birmingham, Bristol, Sheffield, Southampton and Surrey.

Dr Rick Short, Research Manager at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said: “Our industry benefits hugely when high-level academic research is focused at some of the challenges we face in decommissioning our nuclear legacy. We welcome this collaboration and look forward to seeing the progress that these important projects will deliver.

“Equally valuable will be the development of knowledge and expertise for the participants – we hope their skills will be with us for many years ahead.”

The Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC) is providing £4.6 million and AWE, Cavendish Nuclear, Low Level Waste Repository, National Nuclear Laboratory, Radioactive Waste Management, Sellafield and TUV SUD Nuclear Technologies are supporting the project with the rest of the funding.