Plans have been approved for a new £20 million research centre for radiation science and nuclear decommissioning. Construction of the 2000 square-meter facility to be built in Cumbria is due to begin in the autumn of 2010.

The facility, which will be jointly funded by the University of Manchester and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), aims to become a leading centre for radiation science and nuclear engineering decommissioning research.

The centre will be located at Westlakes Science and Technology Park, near Whitehaven in West Cumbria. It will include computer modeling stations, electron optics and large-scale experimental facilities for radiation science, as well as office accommodation and seminar rooms. In addition the centre will have access to the unique facilities within National Nuclear Laboratory’s Central Laboratory on the Sellafield Site.

Nigel Couzens, Head of Skills and Capability at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, added: “The establishment of new research and development facilities is an important part of the NDA’s skills initiative and supports our broader socio-economic responsibilities.”