National Nuclear Laboratory


Sunday 25 May 2014

Robin Wins Prestigious RSC Award

NNL’s Senior Fellow (Actinides), Robin Taylor has been presented with the Bill Newton Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Radiochemistry Group. This prestigious award, only presented every other year, was given to Robin in recognition of his contribution to Radiochemistry. The award is made by the Committee of the Radiochemistry Group following a call for nominations; Robin was actually nominated by the NDA.

Robin’s career has spanned 17 years and has largely focused on the behaviour of actinides in industrially relevant systems and developing fundamental understanding of the physio-chemical parameters that control the behaviour of actinides in separation processes. In addition to recognising Robin’s major contribution to the nuclear industry, the assessors also noted the output of “a large number of high quality scientific publications.”

Furthermore, Dr Nick Evans, Secretary to the RSC’s Radiochemistry Group noted that Robin has “excelled in the role of bridging the gap between nuclear technology applications and the fundamental science underpinning these applications and made major contributions to the development of the reprocessing processes at the Sellafield site.”

Dr Evans also cited NNL’s development of a new flowsheet for the Magnox reprocessing plant; work which Robin has been involved with from the very beginning right through to its implementation on plant. This has resulted in an improvement to the process allowing a reduced amount of conditioning chemical to be added to the system – resulting in a significant reduction in waste from the process and a major cost saving to the operators of the Sellafield site. 

However, Robin’s work has spread well beyond the borders of Sellafield, Cumbria and even the UK, to have an important impact on the international stage, working in collaboration with leading American, Russian and European research groups for many years. One example is his involvement with ACSEPT, a European research project which pulls together the EU’s leading researchers on processing of Transuranium elements.

Dr Graham Fairhall, NNL’s Chief Science and Technology Officer, commented:

“Robin truly deserves this award. Not only has his research had tangible benefits to the UK nuclear industry but he continues to contribute to the academic world with paper after paper in the national and international journals. Congratulations Robin.”

Robin commented:

“It was a pleasant surprise to receive the award. A real honour – especially receiving it for something I enjoy so much. I’d like to thank my many colleagues, past & present, whose support and hard work makes everything possible. I’d also like to pay tribute to Vladimir Volkovich (of Ekaterinburg University) who has jointly received this award for his outstanding work on actinides in molten salts.”