National Nuclear Laboratory


Friday 10 July 2020

NNL launches first academic call to support advanced nuclear fuels and recycle research

NNL is currently welcoming proposals from university academics for access to a range of equipment in our Central Laboratory facility. As part of NNL-led innovation toward a UK clean energy transition, we invite proposals for research and developments associated with Advanced Nuclear Fuels and Recycle.

The call is open from 10th July to 7th August 2020. Selected experiments will be performed during the period of September 2020 to March 2021.

This is an exciting opportunity for academics to contribute to the NNL-led, Government-funded Advanced Fuel Cycle Programme (AFCP). Following the development of the Nuclear Innovation Programme, which represents the first significant public investment in future nuclear fission research and innovation for a generation, AFCP was created to understand the role of nuclear and advanced fuel cycle in a Net Zero world.

NNL is committed to facilitating access to our unique facilities and equipment. As a national laboratory, we recognise that collaboration with university partners is critical to our mission of delivering world-leading science in the UK. This call trials a new approach to enhance and streamline user access to relevant equipment and facilities at NNL. This is expected to be the first in a series of calls to academics.

This user access call encourages academics to apply to use specific grant-funded NNL equipment situated in our Central Laboratory on the Sellafield site. This equipment was procured as part of Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), National Nuclear User Facility (NNUF) and the Henry Royce Institute (HRI) initiatives.

The equipment available in this first call is FIB-SEM, PFIB with ToF-SIMS, (S)TEM with EDS and EELS, X-ray CT and Fumehood/Glovebox Raman. NNL will cover facility and equipment costs, including supervising the experiments and equipment usage. Further details are outlined in the call document below.

To be considered for user access in this call, academics must submit a proposal outlining their experiments. A panel will assess and provide feedback for all submissions, whether successful or not.

Download the call document for full information, including funding details, selection criteria, project scheduling and descriptions of the facilities and equipment. This document also provides the proposal form, which should be filled out and submitted to the NNL User Access Team ( via email by 23:59 on 7th August.

NNL will be hosting a briefing webinar on Wednesday, 22nd July at 10am to share more about this opportunity and answer questions from interested academics. For further enquiries and to register for the webinar, please contact the NNL User Access Team (

This call for proposals has now closed. Please stay tuned for future announcements of this kind.