The University of Sheffield in the UK has opened a new GBP3m ($4.66m) advanced nuclear materials research facility. Materials for Innovative Disposition from Advanced Separations (MIDAS) has been established as part of a national network of facilities to deliver the UK spent nuclear fuel research programme.
It is jointly funded by the University and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Over GBP2.6m of new funding has been secured for project research at the facility, including collaborations with Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in South Korea.
More than 120 research experts were given a tour of the new facility and a demonstration of the state-of-the-art laboratory equipment. Visitors included representatives from Japan's Nuclear Decommissioning Forum, the US Idaho National Laboratory, and France's Areva, as well from DECC and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
Professor Neil Hyatt, Facility Director, said: "Our mission with this facility is to provide a high quality environment for research on radioactive waste and disposal, supported by the world-class expertise we have here in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Sheffield. We are already working in collaboration with leading academics in the field and industrial users on a range of national and international research projects."
The University also hosted the Nuclear Academics Discussion Meeting (NADM) 2015 on 8-9 September. Organised by the EPSRC Nuclear Champion project, the meeting is a forum for the discussion of strategic nuclear challenges in the UK with a focus on how academics and universities can help. The theme for this year was 'new reactor technologies', with talks also being given on the situation in the UK and opportunities available with international partners, including Japan and India.
Experts at the University have also won funding from the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for a series of seven seminars over the next 24 months, looking at the societal issues of storing and disposing of radioactive waste. In partnership with Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) Ltd, part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency (NDA), the seminars will bring together different parts of the research and technical communities.