The UK National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) has been awarded two major contracts by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy under the first part of the UK’s National Nuclear R&D Programme. The programme was announced as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review in 2015. The two contracts relate to R&D on Advanced Nuclear Fuel and R&D on Nuclear Fuel Recycle and Waste Management.
The fuels work is valued at £5m ($6.5m) and comprises an integrated programme of R&D on advanced nuclear fuels in the following areas: accident tolerant fuels and cladding development; coated particle fuels; plutonium-based fuel; reactor physics modelling; and nuclear data.
The £2m recycle and waste management work involves research on aqueous recycle processes including basic chemistry and technology for dissolution, separations and conversion steps; active separations tests on surrogate feeds; active dissolution tests on un-irradiated fuels; a conversion flowsheet for transuranic-containing products; and a minor actinide separations flowsheet for high-level waste.
Both programmes of work reflect the recommendations of the Nuclear Innovation and Research Advisory Board (NIRAB), which was chaired by Dame Sue Ion.