The UK National Nuclear User Facilites Working Group

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Materials


The UK National Nuclear User Facility initiative explores opportunities for new investment in active handing and analysis facilities in support of rebuilding the national capabilities for nuclear research. The NNUF Working Group contains members from Manchester, Lancaster, Leeds, Edinburgh, Sheffield and Oxford Universities, the National Nuclear Laboratories (NNL) and Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE), EPSRC, BIS, DECC and Imperial College. The focus of the work of NNUF over the period of the grant will be on planning the most effective deployment of funds released by the government for the improvement of the UK's nuclear research facilities, including making these facilities available to the widest possible user base.

The grant provides support costs for the work of the NNUF Working Group. This includes some administrative support, and travel funding for the working group to attend meetings in the UK and to make a limited number of visits to international nuclear facilities to see how they are operated to encourage a wide external user base.

Planned Impact

NNUF undertakes two main activities - (i) inviting and prioritising proposals for shared active facilities for consideration by BIS and EPSRC, and (ii) generating regular reports on the status and utilisation of these facilities for stakeholders. The Chancellor's 2014 Autumn Statement included a commitment to "£60 million to extend the capabilities of the National Nuclear Users Facility" , reinforced in the 2015 Autumn Statement in the list of 2019-20 Key project completions. The primary impact that the NNUF Working Group will have in the next 24 months is to ensure that this allocation of public funding is put to best use to the benefit of the UK's nuclear renaissance.


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Description This award is to support the development of an application for the £82M NNUF(2) proposal to BEIS for nuclear infrastructure for the UK. Funding for the project was announced in March 2019, and the first awards were made in October 2019. This is the largest amount of funding for key facilities to enable research on radioactive samples in the UK in the past 25 years. Update in March 2022. The final awards in this scheme were made in the summer of 2021, so now the full award is deployed in more than 30 new facilities for nuclear research. Many of these facilities are now operational, and providing access to researchers from UK HEIs under the NNUF access scheme.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Energy
Impact Types Economic

Description National Nuclear User Facility Phase 2: Management Grant
Amount £7,511,247 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/T011351/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2019 
End 05/2023