Platform for Long-term Experimental Investigation of Alteration Disposal Environments and Storage
PI: Prof Claire Corkhill
The PLEIADES facility is being established as a national centre of research excellence to support the UK nuclear decommissioning and disposal programme, as part of the National Nuclear User Facility network. It will allow the determination of radio-material corrosion and long-term degradation relevant to radioactive waste storage, disposal and decommissioning associated with legacy, new-build and future fuel cycles.
PLEIADES will enable transformative research of radio-material alteration in realistic environments and over extended timescales. Materials of interest include, but are not limited to, glasses, ceramics, activated metals, cement and graphite. The following areas of research can be addressed:
- Corrosion under conditions relevant to sub-surface disposal. This includes reducing conditions, where the solubility of radionuclides is influenced by the redox potential of the local environment. It is important that the correct redox conditions are maintained during corrosion experiments.
- Long-term corrosion studies for the performance of long-term, in situ, static corrosion experiments to give a detailed insight into slow degradation processes.
- Degradation and corrosion within a radiation field. Corrosion processes of radio-materials can be significantly influenced by the effects of radiation, for example self-irradiation and radiolysis. Titanium reactor vessels are available that are compatible with the 60Co ɣ-irradiators at the Dalton Cumbrian Facility (DCF) so that corrosion experiments can be performed during the generation of radiolytic water species.
- Accelerated radio-material corrosion. Capability to acquire experimental data on the short timescales imposed by many projects under the controlled environments described above.
The facility will contain a wet anoxic glove box suite as well as a wide range of ovens to facilitate studies at various temperatures, atmospheres and time periods. There are also reactors available that are compatible with the ɣ-irradiators at the Dalton Cumbrian Facility (DCF). The facility houses an ICP-MS and ICP-OES which is available for solution analysis. Additionally, users will have seamless access to the equipment and technical support of the co-located HADES Facility.
NNUF-PLEIADES is open for research within appropriate COVID-19 control measures. Please reach out to the NNUF-PLEIADES team, to start discussing access, at any point.
As a first step, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to contact PLEIADES for a discussion about the practical feasibility of your proposed research project. Then you will need to complete a simple NNUF application form. When doing so, please upload an email exchange between you and a member of staff at PLEIADES, confirming the feasibility of your proposed research. Please see the access page of this website for more details about the NNUF funded access scheme.
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