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Liverpool and Manchester to collaborate in nuclear science and engineering

20 Jun 2012

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.

Professor Sir Howard Newby (VC Liverpool) and Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

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 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 the Central Laboratory has been made possible through a pioneering agreement between The University of Manchester and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), with the strong support of the National Nuclear Laboratory and endorsement from Sellafield Ltd and the Office for Nuclear Regulation.

Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science and Engineering at Liverpool University, 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 Liverpool University 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.”

The two universities will also collaborate in postgraduate education, developing joint Masters and Continuing Professional Development programmes across nuclear science and engineering.