Investigating atomic-scale mechanisms of thermal ageing in steels harvested from decommissioned pressurisers from Ringhals Units 2 and 4 Reactors

Many countries now have ambitious net zero targets. The UK was the first to commit to net-zero by 2050, requiring a significant increase in power production by both nuclear and renewables. Nuclear plants are designed to last many decades but, under extreme conditions, materials degrade potentially resulting in early plant closures. Optimising materials subject to the extreme reactor conditions, so as to minimise mechanical degradation, and maximise plant lifetime, are critical to underpinning the viability of nuclear energy for future generations.


This project will investigate the mechanisms of thermal ageing in unique materials harvested from the decommissioned Pressurisers of the Ringhals Units 2 and 4 Reactors. Using a combination of microstructural techniques including Atom Probe Tomography (APT), it will be possible to characterise how the atomic scale microstructure has evolved during long term thermal ageing (up to 300,000 h) and relate this to the observed degradation in mechanical properties. The mechanistic insights will be relevant to operating LWRs and to materials selection in the design of future reactors.


This project will be undertaken in close collaboration with our industrial partners Vattenfall (Sweden) and National Nuclear Laboratory (UK).

The description above outlines a possible new research project being offered to prospective new postgraduate students.

For full details of all postgraduate research projects available for new students and how to apply, please see postgraduate projects available.

Note that post-doctoral research positions are advertised under "Work with Us"

Project supervisors can submit details of new projects or provide updates for existing projects.


Quickly identify other projects available using the filters below.