Pyrochemical Research Laboratory

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Project lead: Prof Andrew Mount
The Pyrochemical Research Laboratory (PRL) is an open-access national user facility, established to provide academic, public, and private sector organisations with access to state-of-the-art equipment to support world-leading research in molten salt pyrochemical processing.


Image of glove boxes

© University of Edinburgh

The laboratory consists of a suite of interconnected controlled atmosphere dry-boxes. These are equipped with the necessary furnaces, cell systems, potentiostats and other equipment for characterisation, required for research into, and development of, each of the essential elements of pyrochemical reprocessing at the laboratory scale.

There is flexibility in the configuration of the PRL, with users able to request individual modules to demonstrate the feasibility of individual components of pyrochemical reprocessing. Alternatively the entire facility may be utilised to demonstrate a complete pyrochemical process, including monitoring and analysis.

Access to the PRL facility is facilitated by the lab manager, Dr Justin Elliott ( who can provide advice and guidance on utilising facility equipment to meet your research needs.

Aims of the PRL

Image of glove boxes

© University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh established the PRL facility, in partnership with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC now BEIS), and it is affiliated with the National Nuclear User Facility (NNUF). The PRL facility is unique in providing the facilities to develop and demonstrate integrated pyrochemical reprocessing of nuclear fuel, using fuel-relevant non-radioactive compositional mixtures at laboratory scale, along with the required process monitoring.

The PRL facility is therefore a unique research capability, providing hands-on user access to state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation, utilising medium scale inventories, enabling the UK to deliver internationally competitive R&D.

Capabilities and Equipment

The PRL facility has four interconnected but individually bookable glove boxes, each tailored to a given stage of a pyroprocessing system with associated equipment.

Please consult the "Capabilities and Equipment" section of the PRL's page on the University of Edinburgh's website for more details.

Further information

Please see the PRL's page on the University of Edinburgh's website, or contact Dr Justin Elliott, the facility manager, on


The PRL is currently running at a reduced capacity in order to operate in a COVID-secure way, and is therefore currently only servicing internal work and existing external contracts. This page will be updated when the situation changes. However do feel free to reach out to the PRL team now, to start discussions about access you might like to apply for in the future.



NNUF funded user access scheme for the PRL

As a first step, please email to contact the PRL 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 the PRL, confirming the feasibility of your proposed research. Please see the access page of this website for more detail about the NNUF funded user access scheme.

© University of Edinburgh.