The Universities of Liverpool and Manchester are to collaborate in the areas of nuclear science and engineering, with a focus on research and postgraduate education.
The partnership provides a framework to enable researchers at Liverpool to utilise Manchester’s Dalton Cumbrian Facility - a state of the art complex on Westlakes Science and Technology Park in West Cumbria for science and industry.
Research at the facility is focused on radiation chemistry and radiation damage to materials; nuclear engineering and decommissioning; and the management of radioactive waste. Researchers are able to make use of two ion accelerator beam-lines including a 5MV ion-beam accelerator capable of supplying 10MeV protons and 15MeV helium ions.
Researchers at Liverpool in the areas of Chemistry and Materials Engineering will use the ion accelerators to simulate radiation effects in specific research areas such as radiation damage and structural integrity.
A parallel agreement will also provide researchers at Liverpool and Manchester with access to the National Nuclear Laboratory at Sellafield which supports the development of new reactors, the operations of fuel processing plants and decommissioning of reactors. The academic access of NNL’s Central Laboratory has been made possible through a pioneering agreement between the two universities and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), with support from the National Nuclear Laboratory, Sellafield, and the Office for Nuclear Regulation.
Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science and Engineering at the University of Liverpool, Professor Steve Holloway, said: "I’m delighted that Liverpool and Manchester will be able to work much more closely together in these important research areas. It’s vital for Liverpool to have access to world-leading facilities in nuclear research so we can remain at the cutting edge of developments in this field and build further on the expertise we’re able to offer to industry."
Vice President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Manchester, Professor Colin Bailey, said: "We are delighted to collaborate in nuclear science and engineering research and skills development with the University of Liverpool through our Dalton Nuclear Institute. We are committed to strengthening the academic nuclear research base and the focus of this new collaboration at the Dalton Cumbrian Facility with academic access to the Central Laboratory is creating a world-class nuclear research innovation hub for the UK."
NNL’s Managing Director, Paul Howarth said: “In NNL we have a specific remit from the Department of Energy and Climate Change to enable the use of NNL facilities by others. It therefore gives me huge pleasure to see these arrangements – Manchester’s extension and Liverpool’s first access agreement – coming into force. I am also convinced that this approach is the best way for the universities to progress their important research, with the work they can do in our Central Laboratory complementing what they can achieve in their own facilities.”
The Universities of Liverpool and Manchester will also collaborate in postgraduate education, developing joint Masters and Continuing Professional Development programmes across nuclear science and engineering.