The Nuclear Fuel Centre of Excellence


Dalton Nuclear Institute is working with partners National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) to establish the infrastructure needed for the UK to play a leading role in nuclear fuels R&D through the Nuclear Fuel Centre of Excellence (NFCE).

As highlighted in the UK Nuclear Industrial Strategy, NFCE’s purpose is to create an advanced fuel R&D capability within existing facilities to enable the UK to be a world leader in fuel technology. A key focus is on growing UK talent specialising in advanced fuels.

Supported by £8 million of funding from Government to strengthen the existing fuel R&D facilities at NNL and The University of Manchester and create an integrated UK capability, the NFCE builds unique fuel fabrication and performance experience from decades of research and development on past, present and future fuel types. It will support the creation of improved fuel for current reactors, a new Generation III+ fleet, small modular reactors and ultimately Generation IV fast reactor systems.

In The University of Manchester’s NFCE laboratories fuel pellets can be manufactured in a suite of atmosphere-controlled glove boxes, and a wide range of microstructural, thermo-physical, and mechanical testing can be undertaken in the active characterisation laboratories. The NFCE facilities will enable students to experience what it is like to work with real fuel destined for nuclear power plants.

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