Microscale to Macroscale Modelling of the Corrosion in Nuclear Systems

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Physics


The interaction of nuclear fuel and barrier material with water is a primary concern for the UK, whether Magnox, AGR, or exotic, whether in-operation, stored interim or long-term. Retrievals and relocation operations are imminent and new nuclear build presents the need to state our plans publicly up front. Any measurements/models that mitigate these risks and inform future decisions would be welcome. The principal aim to provide a testable predictive tool should directly impact the UK, informing decision making on spent fuel disposition and future material deployment.

We plan to collaborate with current partners (CEA) and within the UK (Lancaster, Cambridge) to better understand the fundamental behaviour of water at the surface of spent fuel. We plan to develop FACSIMILE + COMSOL models in collaboration with NNL, moving towards real-world systems. We will then design experiments that mimic these idealised scenarios and test them. This method can cut across nuclear fission themes of cladding and fuel corrosion and even shed light on important mechanisms that may be at work in the corrosion of Tokamak fusion devices.

Idealised samples will be synthesised, using the actinide thin film deposition system at the University of Bristol. We plan to use facilities such as the DCF and Surrey Ion Beam Centre to investigate radiation damage and we have a collaboration with the KURRI and CLADS facility in Japan, which will enable irradiation of thin film samples with high neutron fluxes. This project will bring the theorists and experimentalists together on a joint venture; retaining, building and developing knowledge-base for future generations.


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Siberry A (2021) A mathematical model to describe the alpha dose rate from a UO2 surface in Radiation Physics and Chemistry

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513179/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2123347 Studentship EP/R513179/1 24/09/2018 31/03/2022 Angus Siberry