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Manchester gets kit to research reactor safety

19 May 2009

The University of Manchester has reinforced its position as one of the world’s leading academic centres for nuclear research by taking delivery of powerful new research hardware.

The University's new Resonant Frequency Dampening analyser in action
The University's new Resonant Frequency Dampening analyser in action

The Nuclear Graphite Research Group, led by Prof Barry Marsden, has received equipment which will allow research into the safety of nuclear reactor systems to take place.

The new Resonant Frequency Dampening Analyser allows for highly accurate measurements and expands the group's capabilities in material analysis.

It gives the team similar capabilities to the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), which is the UK's National Measurement Institute, The University of Cranfield and The University of Cambridge.

The system will be used to determine dynamic elastic parameters of matter, which allows for the prediction of performance under extreme conditions.

The main area of application will be in the analysis of graphite moderators, in order to predict safe operating times and parameters in nuclear reactor systems.

The advantage of the system over more traditional methods, such as ultrasonic techniques, is its repeatability and accuracy.

The equipment is funded by as a part of a series of awards from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), totalling approximately £400k. The analyser will be used in conjunction with a variety of alternative methods, to develop a reliable measurement routine.

Notes for editors

For more information please contact Alex Waddington, Tel 0161 275 8387 / 07717 881569.