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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/V035886/1
Title RadIAEM:Analytical Electron Microscope with in situ capability for beta, gamma active materials
Status Completed
Energy Categories Nuclear Fission and Fusion(Nuclear Fission, Nuclear supporting technologies) 100%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 30%;
PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Metallurgy and Materials) 35%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr BJ Connolly
No email address given
Metallurgy and Materials
University of Birmingham
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 October 2021
End Date 30 September 2023
Duration 24 months
Total Grant Value £562,874
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region West Midlands
Programme National Nuclear Users Facility
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr BJ Connolly , Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , University of Leeds (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Oxford (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Birmingham (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Sheffield (0.000%)
Project Contact , Diamond Light Source Ltd (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract This project is related to the ambition for the UK low C future. Nuclear energy is a dependable low-C source for UK energy needs, and considerable research is in progress to develop improved advanced reactors to fill the increasing demand for power. Materials research and development is an essential part of advanced reactor system designs, and it is this area that is addressed in RadIAEM. The ability to study and optimize materials used in nuclear power systems requires the detailed analysis of the effects of neutron radiation on the nano-scale microstructure of materials, since the microstructure controls the materials behaviour. RadIAEM is an advanced Analytical Electron Microscope (AEM) dedicated for neutron-irradiated materials with the unique ability to view in real time nanoscale and microscale changes that can occur in the samples at elevated temperatures and also in a variety of gas environments. With RadIAEM (Radioactive In situ AEM) it will be possible to perform world-leading research that is essential to understand the microstructural effects of neutron irradiation on materials for advanced nuclear fission and fusion reactors. This type of research cannot be performed in universities as the samples of interest must be studied in a special laboratory, so we will establish a national RadIAEM user facility located at the UKAEA Materials Research Facility. RadIAEM will enable us to study nanoscale irradiation-induced features that cause hardening and changes in toughness as well as identify ways that we can tailor microstructures to provide improved performance. The novel in-situ capability permit specimens to be heated up to 1000C as the research scientist studies the change in nanoscale microstructure and the nanoscale changes in composition. The reaction of irradiated materials (steels, nickel alloys, graphite and other materials) with various gaseous environments of interest in advanced reactors can also be investigated in RadIAEM. RadIAEM will benefit from the wealth of electron microscopy and in situ Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) expertise at the Universities of Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford and Sheffield as well as from the major experts at UKAEA, electron Physical Science Imaging Centre (ePSIC) and SuperSTEM. It will also be possible to study a wide range of materials using a variety of AEM-based techniques using RadIAEM, and also provide the ability to work with various types of TEM samples. RadIAEM will also provide advanced training in TEM diffraction-based analysis of irradiation-induced defects, general AEM training, and training in the unique and exciting in situ techniques to nuclear materials scientists, especially the young researchers, who will be tomorrow's nuclear scientists and engineers
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 11/01/22