The UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has awarded a three-year contract to the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) and the Wood Group to undertake research on fuels for advanced nuclear reactors. NNL said on 8 August that effective immediately, the two organisations will “deliver the research and development necessary to provide a world-leading reactor physics capability, based around UK modelling and simulation tools, that will support the design, qualification and fabrication of advanced nuclear fuels within the UK”.

Bob MacDonald, CEO of Specialist Technical Solutions at Wood, said: “Securing this work positions us very well for design opportunities on future reactor types, including small modular reactors, and positions us at the forefront of development in this area, creating potential benefits for existing nuclear generation customers. We will also be playing our part in developing key nuclear skills to help the UK meet its future energy needs.”

The contract is focused on the production of analysis methods covering reactor physics, thermal-hydraulics and fuel performance for advanced water-cooled reactors, high-temperature gas reactors and liquid metal fast reactors as well as their respective nuclear fuels. Half of the scope will be completed by Wood.