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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/M018822/1
Title UNIGRAF: Understanding and Improving Graphite for Nuclear Fission
Status Completed
Energy Categories Nuclear Fission and Fusion(Nuclear Fission, Nuclear supporting technologies) 80%;
Nuclear Fission and Fusion(Nuclear Fission, Other converter reactors) 20%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 50%;
Applied Research and Development 50%;
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Physics) 50%;
PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Metallurgy and Materials) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Dr H Wu
No email address given
Inst of Polymer Tech and Materials Eng
Loughborough University
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 24 August 2015
End Date 23 February 2019
Duration 42 months
Total Grant Value £487,539
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region East Midlands
Programme Energy : Energy
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr H Wu , Inst of Polymer Tech and Materials Eng, Loughborough University (99.999%)
  Other Investigator Professor R Smith , Mathematical Sciences, Loughborough University (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , Tsinghua University (THU). Beijing (0.000%)
Project Contact , GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, Germany (0.000%)
Project Contact , Sinosteel Advanced Materials (Zhejiang) Co., Ltd., China (0.000%)
Project Contact , Oak Ridge National Laboratory, USA (0.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Graphite has been an important material used in nuclear energy since the first reactor at Oak Ridge Laboratory (ORNL) in the USA where it was used as a moderator to slow down neutrons and control the fission process. Graphite is also used in the existing gas-cooled reactors (AGRs) in the UK and is an important material for the next generation of nuclear reactors. However commercially produced graphite produced on a large scale for nuclear applications is not the perfect layered structure that is described in text books but has a complex microstructure which depends on the production process. It is not yet known which production process gives the 'best' type of graphite for nuclear applications as radiation damage depends critically on the type of microstructure. To understand how the different forms of graphite respond to radiation damage, a joint experimental and modelling programme will be undertaken. This will involve international project partners. Different forms of graphite will be produced by a chinese company, Sinosteel which will be irradiated with a neutron source at ORNL and analysed experimentally there, to avoid the problems of shipment of hot material to the UK. Samples of the graphite, produced by Sinosteel will also be irradiated in the UK using ion beams as a surrogate for neutrons and also at GSI Darmstadt in Germany using swift heavy ions. Various forms of experimental analysis will be undertaken at Loughborough, Oxford and Bristol to examine the microstructure and to determine the its effect on physical properties and thus the type of graphite that has the best radiation resistant properties. A complementary computer simulation investigation will help with the understanding of the basic science behind the radiation damage produced by individual collision cascades but will also examine radiation dose effects which have not been the focus so far of computational investigation.The research will be of benefit to the UK both in terms of its application to existing AGRs but will also keep the UK in the loop for new reactor designs which are currently being planned internationally, where graphite is an essential component.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 30/09/15