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Collaboration with Wood Group on research contracts for Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

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6 November 2018

A number of academics from the Faculty of Engineering, as partners of Wood plc, has been awarded two new contracts to carry out research work on behalf of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).

This follows the announcement earlier this year of a contract for 3D imaging work with the NDA.

Stress Testing for Spent Fuel Storage

The first project, led by Professor Chris Truman and Dr Harry Coules of the Solid Mechanics Research Group (SMRG), is to carry out a review of mechanical stress in Advanced Gas-cooled Reactor (AGR) fuel. The NDA is responsible for long-term management of spent AGR fuel; NDA’s strategy is to retain the fuel in purpose-built storage ponds at the Sellafield site, in advance of eventual transfer to a UK Geological Disposal Facility.

SMRG has significant expertise in this area, including a dedicated residual stress laboratory at Bristol. This project will review different techniques for measuring mechanical stress and consider the influence of stress on the integrity of the stainless steel used for AGR fuel cladding.

Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

The second project, to be delivered by Dr Tom Richardson in Aerospace Engineering and Professor Tom Scott, from the School of Physics, is to review of the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for the NDA estate. The University’s experience in this area includes a team led by Professor Scott delivering the first ever UAV flight on a UK civil nuclear site: the Advanced Airborne Radiation Monitoring (AARM) system, which won the 2014 Royal Academy of Engineering ERA Award for Innovation.

Tom Scott’s research group has subsequently carried out airborne radiation monitoring at sites across the world, including Fukushima. Dr Tom Richardson is also part of the CASCADE programme which is researching aerial robotics.

Both projects will run until 2019 and are funded as part of NDA’s Direct Research Portfolio.

Further information

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) ensures the safe and efficient clean-up of the UK’s nuclear legacy.

NDA is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, supported by 5 agencies and public bodies.

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