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[cdn-nucl-l] Nuclear research puts safe storage in the spotlight
Posted in Manchester Online on June 10, 2003 and at:
Looking to the future...
Manchester science & innovation
Nuclear fusion puts safe storage in the spotlight
A MULTI-million pound research partnership aimed at making nuclear energy
safer, will be launched in Manchester next week.
And it could boost proposals for an ambitious flagship school of nuclear
science to be established in Manchester.
British Nuclear Fuels Ltd (BNFL) and UMIST have joined forces to set up the
center whose investigations into the performance of a wide range of
materials - especially those used in the re-processing of nuclear fuel and
storage and disposal of nuclear waste - will have global importance.
A problem with long-term storage of nuclear material is corrosion and a key
area of research for the centre will be how to combat this, and to look at
the effects of radiation on materials.
Sir David King, the government's chief scientific officer, will officially
open the centre on June 19.
He says the alliance not only invests in the research base, but also ensures
a good knowledge transfer into industry so that investment in research
produces viable returns.
The alliance is the latest in the nuclear power firm's strategy to create a
number of key university-based research networks. It already has three
others, including an alliance in radiochemistry with Manchester University.
The project is also aimed at supporting the government's goal of increasing
Britain's skill shortage in science related subjects.
BNFL says the alliances are long-term commitments from the company and the
universities to work together to develop a research portfolio for both
parties, with the aim of establishing the UK as a globally acknowledged
centre of excellence.
Science Northwest, a partnership including businesses and universities aimed
at promoting the north west as a world-class area for science, believes the
north west is ideally placed to become an international centre of excellence
for nuclear energy over the next 10 to 15 years, and says there are positive
signs that it is emerging as the focal point for nuclear science skill base
on a national level.
It is expected that the centre will attract top international science
talent, and that it could lay the foundations for proposals being mooted to
create a school for nuclear science at Manchester University/UMIST.
Under the initial five-year partnership, BNFL will contribute £2m, which
will be almost equalled by UMIST. The centre will also be bidding for
another £6m of funding, to "top up the pot" from various other sources.
Dr Sue Ion, BNFL Director of Technology said UMIST had been chosen as a
partner because of the excellence of its expertise in this key area. But she
also praised the "marvellous leadership" of the vice-chancellors of both
UMIST and Manchester University, and their vision for the future.
Professor Howard Stott, of UMIST's Corrosion and Protection Centre, who is
operations director for the new centre, said it would be a world-class
centre for research of interntional importance, but would also bring
benefits to local industries, such as the power industry.