Nuclear research facility opened in Sheffield

MIDAS lab equipment
Equipment in the new MIDAS lab.

University of Sheffield has opened its new £3m nuclear research facility, Materials for Innovative Disposition from Advanced Separations (MIDAS).

The new facility has come about as part of government plans to expand the us of nuclear power in the UK.

The site will focus on researching and developing new, safe techniques and technologies to dispose of radioactive waste.

Inside the new Dörries Contumat vertical turning/milling lathe at the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre AMRC.
Britain is a world leader in nuclear power – from construction to generation to waste management.

The new facility has been funded by the University and The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) as part of a national network of facilities to help deliver the UK spent fuel research programme.

Facility director, professor Neil Hyatt commented: “Our mission with this facility is to provide a high quality environment for research on radioactive waste and disposal, supported by the world-class expertise we have here in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Sheffield.

“We are already working in collaboration with leading academics in the field and industrial users on a range of national and international research projects.”

The facility has already secured more than £2.6m in funding, including a project with Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea.

Angel of the north
These new national facilities at Sheffield will reportedly play an important part in building the Northern Powerhouse.

Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom said: “Britain is a world leader in nuclear power – from construction to generation to waste management – and it is key to our plans to deliver secure, low-carbon electricity and create jobs providing financial security for more hardworking people and their families.

“This Government backs the industries of the future and is committed to maintaining our position as global leaders in nuclear research. These new national facilities at the University of Sheffield will both enhance our thriving scientific and innovative skills base and play an important part in building the Northern Powerhouse.”

The nuclear research carried out at the University of Sheffield is part of its Energy2050 initiative, bringing together academics and students actively working on a wide range of energy research.