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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/S01702X/1
Title MIDAS - Mechanistic understanding of Irradiation Damage in fuel Assemblies
Status Started
Energy Categories Nuclear Fission and Fusion(Nuclear Fission, Nuclear supporting technologies) 70%;
Nuclear Fission and Fusion(Nuclear Fusion) 30%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Metallurgy and Materials) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr PG Frankel
No email address given
University of Manchester
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 May 2019
End Date 30 April 2025
Duration 72 months
Total Grant Value £7,226,655
Industrial Sectors Aerospace; Defence and Marine
Region North West
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr PG Frankel , Materials, University of Manchester (99.988%)
  Other Investigator Dr DS Balint , Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London (0.001%)
Dr AJ Wilkinson , Materials, University of Oxford (0.001%)
Professor C Grovenor , Materials, University of Oxford (0.001%)
Dr M P Moody , Materials, University of Oxford (0.001%)
Dr E Tarleton , Materials, University of Oxford (0.001%)
Professor FPE (Fionn ) Dunne , Materials, Imperial College London (0.001%)
Dr M R Wenman , Materials, Imperial College London (0.001%)
Dr T B Britton , Materials, Imperial College London (0.001%)
Dr JD Robson , Materials, University of Manchester (0.001%)
Dr C P Race , Materials, University of Manchester (0.001%)
Dr KL Moore , Materials, University of Manchester (0.001%)
Dr S Dudarev , Culham Division, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , EDF Energy (0.000%)
Project Contact , Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , Manchester Metropolitan University (0.000%)
Project Contact , Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB (0.000%)
Project Contact , CEA (Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique), France (0.000%)
Project Contact , Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany (0.000%)
Project Contact , Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA (0.000%)
Project Contact , Rolls-Royce PLC (0.000%)
Project Contact , Wood Nuclear (0.000%)
Project Contact , Aalto University, Finland (0.000%)
Project Contact , University of Western Ontario (UWO), Canada (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract In order to meet the UK's carbon reduction targets, and achieve an energy mix that produces less CO2, we must continue to investigate ways in which to make nuclear power cleaner, cheaper and safer. At the same time, as new reactors such as Hinkley Point C are built, the UK needs to develop the work force who will operate, regulate and solve technical problems in civil nuclear power, in order to capitalise on our investment in nuclear energy. Important in this respect is that the UK currently operates mainly old advanced gas-cooled reactors, fundamentally different from the next fleet of UK nuclear power stations, which will be light-water reactors. Key to this change, in terms of this research project, is that Zirconium is a preferred fuel cladding material in LWRs.A major part of a nuclear reactor is the fuel assembly - the structure that encapsulates the highly radioactive nuclear fuel. Understanding the performance of the materials used to make these assemblies is critical for safe, efficient operation, and they must be able to maintain their structure during normal operation, handling and storage, as well as survive in the unlikely event of an accident, when they become crucial in preventing the escape of radioactive materials. Because of the need to operate nuclear reactors as safely as possible, fuel is often removed well before it is spent, as we currently do not know enough about fuel assembly materials, so must adopt a highly cautious, safety-first approach. This does mean, however, that it is more costly to run a reactor, as assemblies must be replaced well before all the fuel is consumed, and this also means the assembly then - prematurely - becomes additional nuclear waste, which must be safely handed and stored, at further high cost.By gaining greater understanding of how assembly materials perform when irradiated, we will be able to make more accurate safety cases, which will mean that fuel assemblies can be used for longer periods without additional risk. Such knowledge will enable the UK to operate the next generation of reactors far more efficiently, significantly reducing the cost of nuclear power. This is particularly important now, given that the UK is going to have light-water, instead of advanced gas-cooled, reactors, and with it the fuel assembly and its material will change very fundamentally.This research effort will also significantly benefit other countries using nuclear energy, which will establish the UK as a centre of expertise in the area. This will further attract inward investment in research and development in the UK, creating future wealth and employment alongside cleaner energy. A second key theme of the project will be to explore the use of zirconium alloys in critical components for future fusion reactors. The UK has a leading position in defining the materials that will be chosen for the ITER and DEMO international fusion projects, and this theme will contribute to maintaining the UK's reputation as a centre of excellence in fusion research
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 15/08/19