Nuclear research centre opens at Strathclyde

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Nuclear research will be the focus of a new centre at the University of Strathclyde.

The Advanced Nuclear Research Centre (ANRC) will build on Strathclyde's 60-year track record in supporting the industry, through fundamental physics research, design of new nuclear facilities, through-life management, plant life extension, decommissioning and waste management.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal of the University, said:

The Centre will provide a focus for the University's cross-disciplinary research activities that impact on the nuclear industry. It will provide important support for UK and international reactors and nuclear plants, helping to extend their life and improve their safe operation.

"We believe the Centre, which will be driven by industry for industry, will offer clear direction for developing solutions at pace, to support existing and future nuclear facilities. The ANRC will be a complementary part of our broad energy capabilities in grid, renewables, energy efficiency and oil and gas."

The ANRC was officially opened by Lord Hutton, Chair of the Nuclear Industry Association. The event highlighted Strathclyde's long track record in energy technologies, advanced manufacturing, non-destructive evaluation, reactor through-life management, decommissioning and accelerators.

Keynote speaker Duncan Hawthorne, President and CEO of Canada-based nuclear generator Bruce Power, said:

University research will continue to play a vital role in leading innovations in the nuclear industry; that's why we are pleased to be a part of the Advanced Nuclear Research Centre at Strathclyde.

"This will be a great opportunity for the global nuclear industry to collaborate in a number of areas and I look forward to working closely with the Centre, to share our experiences and successes, in order to drive forward improvements through innovation in our industry."

Strathclyde hosts a number of key centres supporting this industry including the EDF Energy Advanced Diagnostics Centre, delivering industrially-focused research for the nuclear power industry within areas including: automated data analysis; diagnostics and decision support; modelling and simulation; and sensors and sensor systems. The University was also a founding member of the UK Research Centre in Non-destructive Evaluation, which combines innovative science with industrial applications.

Strathclyde's Physics Department – rated No.1 in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework assessment of UK university research quality – is home to an enhanced laser plasma accelerator facility, which will help drive improvements in nuclear research. The Department's academics are also playing a leading role in developing new accelerator systems, plasma research and fusion reactor research. Strathclyde Engineering academics are carrying out research into materials, and component life extension, heat removal systems and waste encapsulation to enhance the existing and future fleet of reactors and plants.

The ANRC opening took place in the University's £89 million Technology & Innovation Centre, which was opened by Her Majesty the Queen earlier this year.