The University of Birmingham has launched a new facility that aims to support the next-generation of nuclear energy generators in the UK.
The High Flux Accelerator Driven Neutron Facility, claimed to be the first of its kind in the UK and funded by BEIS, will enable scientists to study the properties of materials used in nuclear energy production.
In addition, it will provide research and training opportunities from understanding how neutrons interact with matter through to better understanding the nuclear fusion reactions that take place in stars.
The machinery, supplied by Neutron Therapeutics, is capable of producing neutron fluxes or flows, powerful enough to simulate the damage incurred by highly radiated components such as cladding or structural materials – which is vital knowledge in the development of nuclear power stations.
Other research opportunities will include gaining a better understanding of the nuclear processes associated with both fusion and fission, understanding the long term effects of radiation on material used to store nuclear waste.
Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham said: “This facility is the first of its kind in the UK and we are proud to be hosting it here at the University of Birmingham, where our experts in nuclear physics are leaders in the field.
“It will provide immense opportunities for national and international research collaborations, as well as helping to solve some significant challenges in energy production.”