REFINE: A coordinated materials programme for the sustainable reduction of spent fuel vital in a closed loop nuclear energy cycle

A coordinated UK research programme delivering the materials science required for sustainable spent fuel reduction in a closed loop nuclear energy cycle. This multidisciplinary programme will deliver the critical research team and the platform technologies to enable scientific advance in related molten salt application areas together with the underpinning process development and training essential to establish and deliver these objectives.

The programme will focus on the fundamental research, understanding and essential systems required to produce a viable MS spent fuel treatment facility. It consists of an integrated programme of 3 workpackages (WPs), each addressing a key theme with its identified global and specific objectives.

  • Direct Electrochemical Reduction (DR): Understanding and controlling interactions in MSs, forming solid state materials cleanly and efficiently, specifically electroactive materials for enhanced electrochemical separation in the electrorefiner;
  • Electrorefining & Speciation (ES): Specific solid state materials production by dissolution and deposition of selected species with controlled composition and morphology, specifically ensuring proliferation resistance. Dissolution of stable materials, specifically Gen IV fuels (ceramic, nitride and carbide fuels) and production and characterisation of the MS soluble species;
  • Analysis (AN): Establishment of molten salt analysis techniques, specifically the in-line sensing technology required for PR systems with modelling to understand molten salt materials processes.

Project Website: 

Principal Investigator: 

Research Institutes: 

  • Integrated Micro and Nano Systems

Research Themes: 

  • Materials and Structures
  • Sensors