Nuclear Science and Engineering

Our approach to nuclear research covers instrumentation, robotic, and chemical engineering

An academic working on chemical engineering apparatus

About us

Our multidisciplinary approach in nuclear research covers areas such as instrumentation, robotic and chemical engineering.

Excellence in research in nuclear instrumentation, nuclear decommissioning, and chemical processes along with our location relative to Sellafield Ltd, Springfields Fuels Ltd and many supporting specialist companies have placed us in an internationally-leading position in nuclear engineering systems.

Nuclear applications cover a broad range of sectors from healthcare and cancer treatment through to power generation, national security and decommissioning activities. Our research capabilities are applied in the industrially- and strategically-important areas of decommissioning and clean up, waste management, geological disposal, nuclear safety and regulation, safeguards and security, fuel cycle development, existing operation support and new build.

Decommissioning of disused nuclear facilities and plans to construct a new wave of nuclear power plants has caused the UK’s nuclear industry to face one of its biggest challenges in decades. To address this, the industry has come together to create several graduate training programmes. Currently, for example, Lancaster is a partner in the “Next Generation Nuclear” Centre for Doctoral Training with Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield & Liverpool universities and is active in supporting the work of the UK government too. Furthermore, we lead the new Lloyd’s Register Foundation International Joint Research Centre for the Safety of Nuclear Energy, which is a collaboration with the Universities of Harbin (China), Tennessee and Coventry.

In the area of nuclear decommissioning our research in robotics targets the need to reduce the requirement for manned entry into radioactive environments. This provides invaluable possibilities for the safe retrieval and disposal of contaminated materials whilst safeguarding the environment and minimising radiation exposure to people, for example through the use of hydraulic manipulators and UAVs in this application.

We also lead a joint EPSRC/Department of Energy & Climate Change project, in collaboration with the University of Liverpool and the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy ‘ADRIANA’ as part of the second phase of the National Nuclear Users’ Facility. This will enable the most sensitive neutron multiplicity calorimeter in the world to be established based on Lancaster capability.

Group Lead

Professor Collin Boxall

The Lloyd's Register Foundation Chair

Centre for Global Eco-innovation, Doctorate Centre in Nuclear Engineering, Energy Lancaster, Nuclear

Email me
Collin Boxall

Projects

Nuclear Fuel-debris Characterisation via Multimodal Spectroscopy and Analytics (NuFAMSA)
01/11/2023 → 31/03/2026
Research

Capture Gamma-ray Assessment in Nuclear Energy (C-GANE)
16/10/2023 → 15/10/2027
Research

Detection and quantification of water in spent fuel
02/10/2023 → 01/10/2027
Research

GREEN CDT Studentship: Spent Nuclear Fuel Assembly Inventories and the Contents of Sealed Spent Fuel Cans using Novel Gamma-Ray Spectroscopy (William Wrathall)
01/10/2023 → 30/09/2027
Research

Predictive modelling of radiation damage in REBCO superconductor magnets in fusion environments
01/10/2023 → 31/03/2027
Research

Susceptibility of SD Memory Cards to Neutron Damage
10/07/2023 → 09/09/2023
Research

Advanced borehole trials for land quality monitoring applications in nuclear decommissioning
01/04/2023 → 30/09/2023
Research

Feasibility study of waste water detritiation (EPSRC IAA funded)
01/04/2023 → 31/03/2025
Research

JUNO: A Network for Japan - UK Nuclear Opportunities
01/03/2023 → 29/02/2024
Research

Radiation Hardened Robotics for Remote Inspection
01/11/2022 → 31/03/2025
Research

Process intensification of a high throughput wastewater detritiation
01/10/2022 → 31/03/2025
Consultancy

Ground Level Enhancement Event Monitor (Implementation Phase)
01/09/2022 → 31/03/2024
Research

Ground Level Enhancement Event Monitor (Implementation Phase)
01/09/2022 → 15/10/2024
Research

Could the sun fry chips on Earth? - Monitoring extreme space weather events
01/04/2022 → 31/07/2022
Research

Research on key technologies of boron-10 nitride neutron detecting material growth and device fabrication
31/03/2022 → 31/03/2025
Research

Control and Navigation of Cooperative Unmanned Aerial Systems for Characterisation of Environmental Processes
01/02/2022 → 01/08/2025
Research

DERIvATE: Deployable ElectRochemIcally Assisted Tritium dEtection
08/11/2021 → 08/05/2022
Research

Fault-Tolerant Visual Servoing Control of a Hydraulically Actuated Manipulator
01/10/2021 → 01/07/2025
Research

GREEN CDT: Interactions of extrinsic species with PuO2 during storage (Reece Bedford)
01/10/2021 → 30/09/2025
Research

GREEN CDT: Interactions of extrinsic species with PuO2 during storage (Reece Bedford)
01/10/2021 → 30/09/2025
Research

Autonomous Inspection for Responsive and Sustainable Nuclear Fuel Manufacture (AIRS-NFM)
06/09/2021 → 05/05/2025
Research

Defining a Draft for a Zero Power Reactor Experiment for Molten Salt Reactors
01/07/2021 → 30/09/2024
Research

MS4MSR (Molten Salt for Molten Salt Reactor)
01/07/2021 → 30/06/2025
Research

Ground Level Enhancement Event Monitor (GLEEM)
28/06/2021 → 27/06/2022
Research

Advancing Location Accuracy via Collimated Nuclear Assay for Decommissioning Robotic Applications
08/04/2021 → 31/03/2025
Research

RAIN Extension Stream B
01/04/2021 → 31/03/2022
Research

RAIN extension Stream A
01/04/2021 → 30/09/2021
Research

STFC IAA: Impact Acceleration Account 2021
01/04/2021 → 31/03/2022
Research

Improved Radioactive source location and characterisation via empiricial transform anaylsis
01/09/2020 → 30/09/2021
Research

Radiation damage and recovery in (Y,Gd)Ba2Cu3O7
01/05/2020 → 30/05/2021
Research

Advanced Fuel Cycle Programme - Spent fuel management studies of high density fuel
15/03/2020 → 30/11/2021
Research

Position Sensitive Neutron Dectection by Pulse Shape Analysis
11/11/2019 → 30/09/2020
Research

AMS-UK: A UK Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility for Nuclear Fission Research
01/11/2019 → 31/03/2024
Research

Radiation tolerant real-time recriticality monitoring
01/11/2019 → 30/04/2023
Research

UTGARD LAB PHASE II: A SIMFUEL FABRICATION & CHARACTERISATION FACILITY
01/11/2019 → 30/06/2023
Research

In-situ groundwater monitoring to improve identification of ground/soil contamination volumes and associated contaminated in-ground infrastructure that may remain at the Site End State (Soraia Elisio)
03/10/2019 → 29/02/2024
Research

GREEN CDT
01/10/2019 → 31/03/2028
Research

GREEN CDT Studentship - Development of tritium release model for advanced Li8bO6 breeder materials for compact spherical tokamaks
01/10/2019 → 30/09/2023
Research

iCASE: Electrokinetic In situ Decontamination of Entrained Radioactivity (EIDER)
01/10/2019 → 31/03/2024
Research

iCASE: Electrokinetic In situ Decontamination of Entrained Radioactivity (EIDER)
01/10/2019 → 30/09/2023
Research

Reliability Limits of Programmable Protection Systems
23/04/2019 → 30/03/2020
Research

BEIS: Knowledge Transfer Plan for Nuclear Safety, Security and Safeguards
25/02/2019 → 04/03/2020
Research

ATLANTIC: Accident ToLerANT fuels In reCycling
01/12/2018 → 30/11/2023
Research

Extraction of uranium from sea water
01/10/2018 → 31/03/2022
Research

Neutron production and shielding characterisation at DCF using neutron spectroscopy and imaging device under development at Lancaster
01/10/2018 → 30/09/2019
Research

TRANSCEND: TRANSformative Science & Engineering for Nuclear Decommissioning
01/10/2018 → 30/09/2023
Research

TRANSCEND: TRANSformative Science & Engineering for Nuclear Decommissioning
01/10/2018 → 30/09/2023
Research

Bird strike prevention using video analytics.
01/05/2018 → 01/05/2019
Research

Radiation damage in high temperature superconductors
05/04/2018 → 05/04/2019
Research

Self Expanding Foam-Based Medical Devices
02/04/2018 → 02/07/2018
Research

Advanced Real-time Multiplicity (ARM)
01/03/2018 → 01/03/2019
Research

Development of Advanced Ceramic Breeder Materials for Fusion Energy
01/01/2018 → 30/12/2019
Research

JUNO: A Network for Japan - UK Nuclear Opportunities
17/11/2017 → 16/11/2022
Research

National Centre for Nuclear Robotics (NCNR)
02/10/2017 → 31/03/2022
Research

Fluorescence spectra of alpha emitting isotopes for stand-off detector development
01/08/2017 → 18/10/2017
Research

Potable Water for Rural Africa Project Development
01/03/2017 → 31/07/2017
Research

FST CASE studentship: Development of a Coded-aperture Neutron Imager for Nuclear Decommissioning Applications
01/09/2016 → 31/03/2019
Research

Development of a hybrid coded aperture Compton Camera
01/08/2016 → 01/08/2017
Other

In situ measurement and analysis of sludge using robotic platform
01/08/2016 → 31/08/2021
Research

In-situ real-time monitoring of water borne low energy betas
01/06/2016 → 01/07/2023
Research

GPR Integrated Mixed-field Imaging
01/04/2016 → 30/03/2020
Research

Hyperspectral imaging of neutrons with a Compton Camera and Coded aperture
02/11/2015 → 02/05/2019
Research

Adaptive Treatment and Robust Control
01/11/2015 → 31/01/2019
Research

Industrial Case Account 2015
01/11/2015 → 30/10/2020
Research

Alpha-induced Air Fluorescence even under daylight conditions
01/10/2015 → 30/04/2020
Research

Autonomous Mobile Robotic Systems for Remote Handling and Decomissioning
01/10/2015 → 30/09/2018
Research

IS 2015 - Advanced Materials
01/06/2015 → …
Research

IS 2015 - Robotics and autonomous systems
01/06/2015 → 31/12/2015
Research

Detection of Waterborne Tritium
06/10/2014 → 06/10/2017
Other

The Development of a Semiconductor based Hybrid Pixelated Multi-modal Spectroscopic Gamma and Neutron Radiation Detector
06/10/2014 → 06/10/2020
Other

The Microphenotron: Developing an Automated Microphenotyping Platform to Unlock the Potential of Chemical Biology in Plants
01/10/2014 → 30/03/2016
Research

FST CASE Studentship: Design and testin of a Novel Neutron Meter
01/04/2013 → 30/09/2016
Research

Intelligent Communication Management and Control Architecture for Smart Grid (Fully Funded Studentship)
01/10/2012 → 31/03/2016
Other

Energy Management Methods for Scalable Smart Grid (Fully Funded Studentship)
01/08/2012 → 31/01/2016
Other

Fast, smooth and co-ordinated control of a dual-arm manipulator used for nuclear decommissioning
01/01/2010 → 31/12/2012
Research

Industrial Doctorate Centre: Nuclear Engineering
01/10/2009 → 31/03/2018
Other