International materials technology company Lucideon has seen its pioneering work in the nuclear sector take a significant step forward under a new partnership arrangement.
The international materials technology company has signed a partner agreement with the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) Advanced Fuels Cycle Programme (AFCP) as a research and development (R&D) partner.
The AFCP is part of the UK Government’s £180 million Nuclear Innovation Programme, and is focused on the development of skills, knowledge and capabilities in the areas of advanced recycle and waste management and advanced nuclear fuels.
The agreement involves an initial programme worth over £350,000 to Lucideon.
Tim Abbott, Lucideon Business Manager, said: “As a development and commercialisation organisation, specialising in materials technologies and processes, Lucideon is uniquely placed to partner with NNL on the AFCP programme.
“The scope of the programme recognises Lucideon’s world leading materials and process capabilities and we look forward to developing advanced ceramic technologies from our facilities in Stoke-on-Trent.
“The team at Lucideon is proud to have been selected to join this programme. It’s an exciting step for the business and we are looking forward to the challenge.”
NNL will draw on Lucideon’s expertise in its flash (field enhanced) sintering technology to significantly improve the production of advanced nuclear fuels, through new developments in the structure and performance of materials.
Lucideon has made a multi-million investment in flash sintering technology – which centres around an electric field being applied to a ceramic at specific temperatures – at its Penkhull headquarters.
The partner agreement will also see Lucideon collaborate with the University of Manchester, who will provide specialist resources to support the development.
Paul Nevitt, of NNL and technical director for AFCP, said: “It is great to have Lucideon as part of the AFCP UK team, which now includes over 50 different organisations in total.
“This is a crucial programme for the UK to develop the capability and capacity to support future nuclear ambitions and support delivery of the UK’s legally binding net zero 2050 commitments.
“The technology being developed as part of this relationship has the potential to deliver real innovation around advanced fuel manufacturing, an opportunity for the UK to be world leading.”
Lucideon has carved out a niche as experts in the nuclear industry, in areas including the development of novel materials and processes, materials analysis, complex testing and additive manufacturing.
The AFCP programme focuses on the development of new technologies and processes, which can contribute towards a reduction in the whole lifecycle costs of nuclear energy.
It also aims to ensure international co-operation, with an emphasis on promoting and maintaining the role of the UK as a global leader in these areas.
Technology areas include the development of accident tolerant fuels, fast reactor fuels, nuclear data development, separations technology, modelling and fabrication.