Fuels, Reactors and Reprocessing

The Fuel, Reactors & Reprocessing capability consists of three teams providing technical support (commercial work, R&D, nuclear foresight & advice) to a wide range of customers including the UK government.

Post Irradiation Examination – Defence

The Defence PIE team carries out the break down and non-destructive examination of irradiated ex-service reactor components. This is a relatively new team, set up in 2014, in response to the latest Defence contract. Over the next 10 years the team will be heavily involved in delivering several key techniques for the Defence programme including:

  • Component break down
  • Visual inspection
  • LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) for material identification
  • Eddy current
  • FTIR (Fourier-transform Infrared Spectroscopy) for corrosion thickness
  • Gamma Scanning
  • Surface profilometry
  • Surface roughness
  • Bow and length

There are also two destructive operations:

  • HVE (Hot Vacuum Extraction for hydrogen testing)
  • Cutting/punching small samples from a bulk sample for further processing

The team, which composes of six technicians, a deputy delivery manager and a delivery manager has a wide range of in-cave operational experience. This experience has aided in the development of new rigs, with them being heavily involved from the design process through to the non-active and active commissioning of the rigs. The team also has knowledge of horizontal flasking operations, archive management and waste handling.

Customers: RR/MoD

Collaborations: The Defence team works closely with customer and the supply chain collaborating in the development of rigs and techniques for the new programme of work.