Critical Analysis of Spent Fuel Structure in Radionuclide Release

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sheffield
Department Name: Materials Science and Engineering

Abstract

As a result of 60 years of using nuclear energy in civil and defence operations, the UK has generated a large legacy of nuclear waste, with a total volume capable of filling Wembley Stadium (450,000m3). The hazards posed to the general public from the radiation arising from this waste make its disposal extremely challenging; any solution must be long-lived as the waste will be radioactive for more than 100,000 years. For this reason, the Governments of several countries, including the UK, propose that the long-term disposal of this waste should be in a deep geological facility, several hundreds of metres below the ground. The formal term for an engineered geological disposal site is a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). This man-made facility will be used to isolate the waste from future populations by using multiple layers of containment carefully designed to prevent radioactive elements (radionuclides) from entering the underground rock environment and eventually reaching the surface. Arguably, the most important part of the GDF is the nuclear waste itself; the release of radionuclides to the environment is controlled by the interaction of groundwater with the waste - if this material can be shown to be particularly durable in the presence of ground water, the release of radionuclides will be very small and the risk to future populations from the GDF will be low.

The focus of my Fellowship is on understanding the release of radionuclides from one particular type of nuclear waste, known as spent fuel, upon contact with groundwater. Many countries are planning to dispose of spent fuel in a GDF (e.g. Sweden, Finland), however the spent fuel in the UK is unique, because it originates from nuclear reactors that only exist in the UK. This is problematic because the potential behaviour of this material when it comes into contact with groundwater is poorly understood; this gives rise to uncertainty in the long-term safety of this material in a GDF. Therefore, the goal of this Fellowship is to develop an understanding of UK spent fuel, of how its structure and chemistry affect the release of radionuclides upon contact with water, and to evaluate its performance compared to other spent fuel types. Because real spent fuel is extremely hazardous, the Fellowship research team will develop an analogue for spent fuel, known as HIP-SIMFUEL, using state-of-the-art material processing technologies. The development of HIP-SIMFUEL, which will resemble spent fuel more closely than any other analogue currently available, represents a significant advancement for scientists working in the field of spent fuel research. Using HIP-SIMFUEL and a suite of advanced, high-resolution microscopy techniques, we will build the first ever atomic-scale understanding of the structure and chemistry of UK spent fuel, and we will develop novel imaging techniques to assess the role of these features in the mechanisms and rate of radionuclide release to groundwater. The results from experiments with HIP-SIMFUEL will be compared with those from real spent fuel particles; my team will examine particles of spent fuel that were discharged to the environment during the Chernobyl accident, which have subsequently been leached by natural groundwater for many years.

My Fellowship is particularly timely, given the UK Government's ongoing task of selecting a site for the disposal facility. The research represents a significant step in the understanding of the long-term performance of nuclear waste in the GDF, will enhance predictive models of future GDF behaviour and will help optimise the design of the containment system. Ultimately, this will lead to enhanced safety of the long-term management of nuclear waste in the UK and worldwide, and will increase public confidence of geological disposal concepts.

Planned Impact

By providing a robust scientific underpinning of the post-closure safety case for geological disposal of spent fuel, my Fellowship research has the potential to directly impact the implementation of a geological disposal facility in the UK and to influence public confidence in the disposal concepts under consideration. Such confidence is necessary for the success of the ongoing UK voluntary site selection process. Once a site has been successfully selected, indications from Government are that significant investment in future nuclear power will be made, which will have far-reaching impacts to the economy, the environment and society.

The impacts will be realised through the primary beneficiaries of this Fellowship, which include geological disposal site host communities, other interested publics, and Governmental, policy and technical bodies, for example, the geological disposal policy implementers (Radioactive Waste Management Limited, RWM) and the geological disposal policy makers (DECC). Secondary beneficiaries include the media and school teachers; the Fellow and Fellowship PDRAs will also benefit from several activities. The benefit to these groups, over the whole fellowship lifecycle, include:

- New scientific understanding and data required to model the source term for radionuclide release from UK spent AGR fuel, for use in the post-closure safety case for geological disposal;
- Demonstration of a new approach and methodology to understand the rate and mechanism of spent fuel analogue and simulant dissolution, relevant to national and international geological disposal concepts;
- Potential reduction of the estimated £18Bn cost of radioactive waste disposal in the UK, through more appropriate disposal facility design led by an improved understanding and confidence in spent fuel durability;
- Improved public confidence in UK radioactive waste disposal strategy, through provision of underpinning scientific understanding and data, which are currently absent fr AGR spent fuel;
- Five highly skilled and knowledgeable post-doctoral scientists for potential recruitment by the nuclear industry.

In a novel approach, the Pathways to Impact plan targets both social and technical aspects of nuclear waste geo-disposal, thus making a significant additional contribution to socio-technical research in topics associated with the nuclear fuel cycle. With a focus on the interlinked areas of publics and policies, several activities are proposed that will directly impact the on-going debate and actions surrounding the current implementation of the UK GDF site selection process. These activities briefly comprise:

1. In the absence of forthcoming information on aspects of the geological disposal "engineered barrier" from policy makers and implementers, I will initiate and manage a new academic-led, multi-purpose web platform, The Nuclear Waste Repository, with the primary role of hosting information on UK nuclear waste and geological disposal in an easy-to-understand, lay-person format.
2. Building on my previous public engagement and media experiences, I will promote wide, public dissemination of relevant information on nuclear waste disposal by undertaking filming of a short, creative nuclear waste geo-disposal documentary, in collaboration with award-winning film makers (Sort of Films). This will be showcased at multiple national and international venues.
3. I will organise a series of reciprocal knowledge exchanges with key beneficiaries, including RWM, DECC, the Swedish Geological Disposal Implementers and the Science Media Centre. The exchanges will encourage understanding of the science and policy behind the safety case for geological disposal and will be facilitated by an experienced sociologist, who will act as a knowledge broker and will prepare high impact outputs for publication (journal articles, policy briefs).

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description In the 2.5 years since this project commenced, we have deeply furthered our understanding of how nuclear waste glass materials corrode in the complex geochemical environments within a geological disposal facility. My team are building important new insights into the atomic and grain boundary structure of UO2-bearing materials as simulants for spent nuclear fuel, and we have made great strides in developing a novel technique that allows us to study how fuel corrodes. After further optimisation and characterisation, we will use these materials to develop an understanding of how spent nuclear fuel will dissolve in groundwater when eventually (in > 10,000 years) the primary containment of a geological disposal facility for nuclear waste is breached.
Exploitation Route It is really too early say at this stage of the grant.
Sectors Energy,Environment

 
Description The research findings from this project have been used to underpin the following public engagement events: 1. "Nuclear Waste: Dig Deep or Aim High?" New Scientist Live, 2016 (audience >1000) 2. "Nuclear Waste: Dig Deep or Aim High?" Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Talking Science Seminar Series, Oxford, 2016 (>250 attendees) The fellowship has supported me to make two short film about nuclear waste disposal that can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqy8lWg1_k4&feature=youtu.be and here: https://youtu.be/y8ZinG2PZv4
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Energy
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description EU ALLIANCE Strategic Advisory Board
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description EU CONCERT Stakeholder Board
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
 
Description Expert reveiwer for Radioactive Waste Management LImited
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Expert reviewer for Nuclear Decommissioning Authority on Plutonium Stockpile Management
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description ATLANTIC: Accident ToLerANT fuels In reCycling
Amount £2,545,629 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/S011935/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2018 
End 11/2022
 
Description Characterisation of Thermally Treated Nuclear Waste
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation Nuclear Decommissioning Authority NDA 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2019 
End 09/2023
 
Description EPSRC - US DoE NEUP scheme
Amount £338,985 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R006075/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 03/2021
 
Description EU H2020 - Euratom
Amount £7,136,625 (GBP)
Funding ID 755480 
Organisation European Atomic Energy Commission (EURATOM) 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 03/2017 
End 02/2021
 
Description EURATOM H2020 - DISCO project
Amount € 3,500,000 (EUR)
Organisation European Atomic Energy Commission (EURATOM) 
Sector Public
Country Belgium
Start 06/2017 
End 05/2021
 
Description Environmental behaviour and management of U-containing fuel debris particles
Amount £261,095 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/S020659/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 03/2021
 
Description Glass Leaching Assessment for Disposability II
Amount £145,000 (GBP)
Organisation U.S. Department of Energy 
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 01/2018 
End 01/2019
 
Description Groundwater interaction with nuclear waste glass
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation National Nuclear Laboratory 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2019 
End 09/2023
 
Description Immobilisation of radioactive resins in glass
Amount £55,200 (GBP)
Organisation Ministry of Defence (MOD) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 04/2019
 
Description Industry Impact Knowledge Exhange
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Sheffield 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 03/2018
 
Description Industry award
Amount £7,525 (GBP)
Organisation Nuclear Decommissioning Authority NDA 
Department Radioactive Waste Management
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 04/2018
 
Description Japan Civil Nuclear Energy EPSRC Round 4
Amount £250,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R01924X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2018 
End 01/2020
 
Description NDA Bursary
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Nuclear Decommissioning Authority NDA 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 03/2021
 
Description NGN CDT
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Description Next Generation Nuclear CDT
Amount £120,000 (GBP)
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2021
 
Description Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Bursary
Amount £110,000 (GBP)
Organisation Nuclear Decommissioning Authority NDA 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 03/2021
 
Description Nuclear Decommissioning Authority Bursary
Amount £60,000 (GBP)
Organisation Nuclear Decommissioning Authority NDA 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 03/2021
 
Description TRANSCEND: Transformative Science and Engineering for Nuclear Decommissioning
Amount £4,587,420 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/S01019X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2018 
End 09/2022
 
Description US Department of Energy grant
Amount $370,000 (USD)
Organisation U.S. Department of Energy 
Sector Public
Country United States
Start 10/2016 
End 10/2019
 
Description DISCO European Project 
Organisation European Commission H2020
Country Belgium 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Thanks to the platform built from my EPSRC ECR Fellowship, I was invited to join a European consortim researching the disposal of modern nuclear fuels. I was awarded funding to participate in this project for four years.
Collaborator Contribution 1 year of postdoc research and 4 years of PhD research, sharing of samples and access to equipment.
Impact 1. Organisation of the International Spent Nuclear Fuel Workshop in Sheffield, May 2018. 120 delegates from 18 different countries attended. 2. Presentation at the Materials Research Society conference by Theo Cordara: Synthesis and Characterisation of Cr2O3 and Al2O3 doped fuel
Start Year 2017
 
Description Long duration beamline at Diamond Light Source 
Organisation Diamond Light Source
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We provided samples and expertise to run two sets of samples at the new Diamond Light Source I11 Long Duration Experiment Facility: 1. Nuclear waste cement materials 2. Simulant Fukushima accident nuclear fuel and are undertaking long-term analysis of the data collected by collaborators at the light source. The first experiment has been running since 2016, and the second has just commenced (2019).
Collaborator Contribution Partners have provided access to synchrotron beamtime, once per week for a 5 year duration, and have been taking measurements of our samples.
Impact Numerous media articles on the long duration beamline (see relevant sections of ResearchFish). Scientifc publications forthcoming.
Start Year 2016
 
Description The International Glass Corrosion Working Group 
Organisation U.S. Department of Energy
Department Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I am a key member of this international working group on glass corrosion, who meet annually to discuss latest developments and understanding in non-equilibrium material corrosion. Participants include: PNNL, SRNL, ORNL, SNL, WSU (USA); JAEA, Kyushu University (Japan); CEA (France); SCK.CEN (Belgium); POSTECH (S. Korea).
Collaborator Contribution PNNL have contracted me and my team to undertake an assessment of a how EPA regulatory leaching tests may be applied to the durability of nuclear waste glasses from the Hanford site, USA. If successful, our test has the potential to save the US Government on the order of $1Bn per year.
Impact See publications list -- MRS Advances, 2 (2017).
Start Year 2016
 
Description UK-US glass corrosion research 
Organisation U.S. Department of Energy
Department Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Thanks to my established reputation as an EPSRC ECR Fellow, the US Department of Energy invited me to undertake research in support of the disposal of US low activity waste at the Hanford site, Washington State, USA. A three year research project (with funding for equipment, staff and consumables) was funded.
Collaborator Contribution US Department of Energy have paid for the research project and partners at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory are providing materials for research.
Impact 1. Conference proceedings article: Clare L. Thorpe, Colleen Mann, Adam Fisher, Russell J. Hand, Neil C. Hyatt, Brian J. Riley, Michael J. Schweiger, Jodi Mayer, Christina Arendt, Albert A. Kruger, David Kosson, and Claire L. Corkhill. Evaluation of Novel Leaching Assessment for Nuclear Waste Glasses. Proceedings of Waste Management WM2018, March 18 - 22, 2018, Phoenix, Arizona (USA). 2. Presentation at Waste Management conference: title and authors as above 3. Winner of the American Nuclear Society Prize for Best Oral Presentation at Waste Management 2018.
Start Year 2017
 
Description UK-US spent nuclear fuel research 
Organisation Washington State University
Department Washington State University Spokane
PI Contribution Professor John McCloy from Washington State University and I are collaborating on a US-UK NEUP-EPSRC grant, to understand the behaviour of spent nuclear fuel during disposal and storage. We have provided materials and shared expertise and networks within the European spent nuclear fuel research community.
Collaborator Contribution Partners have shared expertise and equipment.
Impact Publications to date include: 1. Brehault A., Patil D., Kamat H., Youngman R. E., Thirion L. M., Mauro J. C., Corkhill C. L., McCloy J. S. and Goel, A. Compositional dependence of solubility / retention of molybdenum oxides in aluminoborosilicate-based model nuclear waste glasses. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 122, 1714 - 1729 (2018) 2. Chong S., Peterson J. A., Riley B. J., Tabada D., Wall D., Corkhill C. L. and McCloy J. S. Glass-bonded iodosodalite waste form for immobilisation of 129I. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 504, 109 - 121 (2018)
Start Year 2017
 
Description BBC Expert Women 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Attended BBC Expert Women Day at Broadcasting House in London, where I was filmed and recorded talking about nuclear waste research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description BBC documentary -- Dust Storms 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I featured in a documentary shown in BBC Four and BBC World, on the phenomenon of dust storms. My role was to explain the chemistry, particle size and mineralogy of dust, to help the audience to understand what it is made from, and why it is hazardous to human health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04w6tbh
 
Description BEIS GDF Working with Communities Consultation workshop attendance 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Shared expertise in social dimensions of geological waste disposal with range of actors, via workshop on BEIS GDF consultations.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Chemistry World article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Chemistry World published a report (online and in print) relating to one of the publications claimed for this award.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/abandoned-cornish-mine-may-hold-clues-to-uranium-clean-up-/30084...
 
Description Consultancy for Radioactive Waste Management Limited - glass dissolution 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Claire performed a review of two major research projects performed by AMEC Foster Wheeler designed to ascertain the long-term durability of UK nuclear waste glass materials. Expert comment and suggestions were made on the research performed, which identified major flaws in the methodology. It was intended that this project should feed into development of the safety case for nuclear waste disposal in a UK geological facility -- the expert comment provided has initiated a rethink of this strategy, and the results will not be used as evidence to underpin policy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
 
Description Editor of the International Atomic Energy Agency Radiation Effects in Nuclear Wasteforms TECDOC 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Claire was the editor on an International Atomic Energy Agency TECDOC, titled "Radiation Effects in Nuclear Wasteforms". The TECDOC provides a comprehensive overview of the role of radiation in nuclear wasteform materials, including spent nuclear fuel, glasses etc. and will be published later this year on the IAEA website -- it is an open access document for the general public and others.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Engineering 360 news article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Engineering 360 published an article relating to one of the publications from this award.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://insights.globalspec.com/article/7486/arsenic-controls-radio-contamination-at-legacy-uranium-...
 
Description Film about nuclear waste disposal research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact With Diamond Light Source, I made a short film about my nuclear waste disposal research. This film is openly available on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqy8lWg1_k4&feature=youtu.be), was published on the Diamond Light Source and University of Sheffield webpages. To date, it has been viewed online 300 times, and I have used the video in public-audience presentations. This has influenced undergraduate students to chose research projects in my laboratory.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqy8lWg1_k4&feature=youtu.be
 
Description HM Government North Interview for Year of Engineering Campaign 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Media story received 55 "likes" and 30 retweets, viewed by several thousand people.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description How to make nuclear waste glass film 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We filmed a short introduction to why glass is used as a material for nuclear waste, and what the proposed plan for its disposal will be. The film was shown at the International Festival of Glass in August 2017, sparking much discussion from the public about what to do with nuclear waste, and which materials we should use to keep it safe for one million years.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://youtu.be/y8ZinG2PZv4
 
Description ICONE26 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I participated in the International Conference of Nuclear Engineering panel of Fukushima Daiichi decommissioning.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description International Atomic Energy Agency Chair 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Having given an invited talk on "Radiation Damage in Spent Nuclear Fuel" at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Summer School on Radiation Damage in Nuclear Materials (Trieste, 2016 > 30 participants), I was further invited to chair a panel to write an IAEA TECDOC. The TECDOC is titled "Radiation effects in nuclear wasteforms". As chair, I have written substantial portions of this document, and have coordinated and edited the remainder of the document, which will be published in 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://indico.ictp.it/event/7633/
 
Description International Atomic Energy Agency Coordinated Research Project on Severely Damaged Nuclear Fuel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited to attend as an expert contributor to the International Atomic Energy Agency Coordinated Research Project on Severely Damaged Nuclear Fuel, which met in Fukushima Prefecture to discuss latest R&D in degraded nuclear fuel materials, and to identify future research needs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description International Atomic Energy Agency Expert Working Group on IMMONET 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited to be an expert member of the International Atomic Energy Agency's working group on IMMONET, a website and network intended to share best practise on nuclear waste management between IAEA member states.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description International Festival of Glass 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact "Nuclear waste: A Glass Act" - an interactive exhibit and documentary, at the International Festival of Glass Science, Stourbridge. At this event, we invited the general public to think about glass as a nuclear wasteform, and has exhibits (like our lego nuclear reactor) that helped to explain where nuclear waste comes from (and how nuclear energy is generated) and where we are planning to put it (in a geological disposal facility). We also filmed footage for my upcoming BBC documentary (No-one's Talking About Nuclear Waste), and discussed with members of the public what they think we should do with waste. There were very interesting discussions, and many of the audience said that although they did not like the idea of burying nuclear waste in the ground, they agreed it was the most sensible option (this was a shift from their earlier opinion).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.rmlt.org.uk/Pages/Events/Site/international-festival-of-glass/Category/international-fes...
 
Description International Spent Nucleear Fuel Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact My team and I organised the bi-annual International Spent Nuclear Fuel Workshop in Sheffield, in May 2018. There were 125 participants from 16 countries, including academic researchers in materials science and engineering, environmental science and social science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Interview for "Where Women Work" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact I was interviewed by "Where Women Work" for their spread on "Who are the women working in nuclear?" At least 500 people have read this article (according to statistics on Twitter).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.wherewomenwork.com/Career/298/Who-are-the-women-working-in-Nuclear
 
Description JUNO meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Attended the annual UK-Japan international dialogue meeting in Tokyo. Outcome was meeting Japanese academics and industry, with whom we are now working on an EPSRC / MEXT funded project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Member of Swiss Light Source Proposal Review Committee 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited to join the Swiss Light Source Proposal Review Committee as an expert in radioactive material experiments. Here I review ~50 proposals, twice per year, to ensure that good quality science is being supported by the hardXAS facilities at the Swiss Light Source. This has dual impact: 1) supporting UK researchers in developing proposals for access to best-in-the-world facilities; and 2) mantaining increasingly rare synchrtron facilities at which to undertake radioactive material research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland Distinguished Lecturer 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Gave lecture on nuclear waste disposal to a range of audiences as part of the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland Distinguished Lecture series:

1. Trinity College Dublin (Ireland): audience of ~60 academics, postgrads and undergrads
2. Portsmouth University: audience of ~100 general public, undergrads, postgrads and multidisciplinary academics
3. Durham University: audience of ~100 academics, postgrads and undergrads

Feedback received afterwards indicated:
>change in opinion about nuclear waste (negative to positive)
>change in opinion about nuclear power (positive to negative)
>interest from undergrad students in studying a PhD in the field of nuclear waste management
>interest from postdocs about working in the field of nuclear waste management research
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description New Scientist Live 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited to give a lecture at the New Scientist Live Expo in London (2016), where I presented on nuclear waste disposal to >1000 attendees. This sparked questions and discussion afterwards (also on Twitter, where the talk was widely shared), and as a result, I was invited to visit a school in London to further explain the research. The key Government / policy beneficiary of my research (Radioactive Waste Management Limited) was also in attendance at this event, and they have asked to speak on their behalf at future events.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://live.newscientist.com/claire-corkhill/
 
Description Nuclear Engineering - how to tackle an intergenerational waste dump 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Our workshop "Nuclear Engineering - how to tackle an intergenerational waste dump" was delivered to Y12 students on the "Discover STEM" programme. Thanks to the workshop, one student has since applied and been offered a place to study Materials Science and Engineering -- their UCAS personal statement said the reason for making the switch from Chemistry to Materials was the Discover STEM workshop, which instilled in them a desire to learn how to clean up the world's nuclear waste.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Physics World Article on research at Diamond Light Source 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Physics World published an article on nuclear waste research ongoing at Diamond Light Source, including the world's first (and longest running) long-duration experiment, lead by Claire Corkhill.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://physicsworld.com/a/a-trip-to-diamond-light-source-experiments-swords-and-treasure/
 
Description Physics World article on 1000 days experiment 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Physics World reported on my experiment at Diamond Light Source -- the World's first long-duration synchrotron experiment, which reached 1000 days old in July 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://physicsworld.com/a/longest-synchrotron-experiment-hits-1000-days-at-diamond/
 
Description Presentation at RICOMET 2017 conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Formal presentation at IAEA HQ, Vienna to audience in attendance and via Facebook Live. Purpose was to inform audiences of social science approaches to technical nuclear matters.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://ricomet2017.sckcen.be
 
Description Royal Society of Chemistry Radiochemistry committee 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participated in the committee meeting of the Royal Society of Chemistry Radiochemistry Group. Academic and industrial partners planned future conferences and developed funding opportunities for young researchers in the field of radiochemistry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Rutherford Appleton Laboratory talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I was invited to speak at the Rutherford Appleton "Talking Science" lecture, titled "Nuclear Waste: Dig Deep or Aim High?". Approximately 250 attended the lecture, and the outcome was raised profile of the issue of nuclear waste disposal with the general public and 6th form students who were present. There was a lively discussion after the lecture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.stfc.ac.uk/public-engagement/activities-for-the-public/visit-the-rutherford-appleton-labo...
 
Description What should the little pigs make their houses from? 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact This workshop, delivered to 100 five year olds, explored how different materials can be used for different purposes, thanks to their different properties. Children were engaged and showed increased interest in materials science.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description World Nuclear News article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact World Nuclear News published an article relating to one of the publications from this award.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/UF-Arsenic-found-to-control-uranium-contamination-2112174.html