A consortium led by Amec Foster Wheeler has been awarded a £2m research grant from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to set up a high-temperature facility (HTF) for nuclear industry research.
The HTF will undertake vital testing work on materials used in current and future nuclear reactors, and will help to re-establish the UK as a major contributor to advanced reactor technology.
According to the original call for proposals from December DECC said the facility should be established by March 2016 and should be able to measure material properties such as tension, fracture toughness, creep, creep-fatigue and crack initiation and growth across a range of temperatures up to 1000°C.
HTF would be an open access facility, used by organisations in the nuclear industry and by university researchers. It would be used to carry out research into advanced reactor component material performance typical of very-high temperature reactors, high-temperature reactors and sodium-fast reactor environments.
"Being chosen to lead and manage this important new facility cements our position at the forefront of the industry's understanding about how materials inside reactors perform at high temperatures," commented Greg Willetts, consultancy director in Amec Foster Wheeler's Clean Energy business.
Amec Foster Wheeler is leading a consortium made up of the National Nuclear Laboratory, EDF Energy, the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Urenco, the Universities of Manchester, Bristol and Oxford, the Open University, and Imperial College London for the project.