National Nuclear Laboratory

Benefits to the UK

The laboratory expansion in Cumbria will generate new jobs by the time it is in full operation in 2027. This will bring more highly skilled scientists into an area that suffers rural deprivation. NNL has an excellent track record in recruiting apprentices and graduates to grow talent within the industry.  The production of americium pellets will provide further opportunities for companies in the supply chain, including our partners at the University of Leicester.

The discovery of Americium-241 in the UK’s store of fuel repurposes what was considered years ago as surplus material. As well as being a valuable product, Americium-241 delivers savings to the UK by reducing the amount of surplus material that requires long-term storage and eventual disposal.

But most of all, this is more than a discovery made by our talented scientists over 10 years ago. NNL has progressed this opportunity to ensure that the UK is one of the key global players in space exploration