Next Generation Accelerated Characterisation Technologies
PI: Prof Phil Warwick
NNUF-EXACT (Next Generation Accelerated Characterisation Technologies) is based at the University of Southampton and aims to be a world-leading radiochemistry facility enabling research and training in accelerated nuclear characterisation and remediation technologies underpinning civil nuclear programmes, decommissioning and site clean-up, and new nuclear infrastructure.
To provide an easily accessible state-of-the-art test-bed facility and supporting infrastructure for research, technology development / validation and training in in-situ, on-site and off-site characterisation and remediation methods, including for complex / problem waste streams.
- To provide a state-of-the art, flexible facility to support world-leading research on accelerated nuclear characterisation and remediation technologies
- To lead in the development of automated and rapid measurement techniques for in-situ, on-site and off-site radionuclide measurement, including those that can be integrated into robotic delivery systems
- To develop technologies and enhanced methodologies for separation, characterisation and remediation of complex waste forms including oils, sludges, and reactive metals
- To promote monitoring and characterisation technology transfer from the non-nuclear sector (including the latest ocean / aerospace / oil and gas sensor developments) by facilitating testing of novel technologies in a nuclear relevant environment
- To lead in the development of robust method testing and validation processes for in-situ and on-site characterisation
- To provide a comprehensive training platform for the next generation of radiochemists, site engineers and other nuclear professionals
- To act as a focal point for international collaboration in the field of radionuclide separation, radioanalytical chemistry, characterisation and remediation technologies.
In addition to the comprehensive training offered to all users of the facility including safe working practices in a radiochemical laboratory and training in characterisation techniques and radiometric instrumentation (including sensor and on-site technologies), a series of training courses and workshops are offered. These courses are held in lecture theatres and classrooms at the University of Southampton’s Waterfront Campus and delivered by leading industry and academic professionals in collaboration with NNUF-EXACT partner organisation NPL.
NNUF-EXACT laboratory facility
The laboratory facility provides a flexible space for the development and testing of new methodologies and technologies with low level active reference materials and radiotracers. The laboratory features fume cupboards and bench and floor space with a customisable aqueous test rig to permit active testing of in-line and on-line sensors. The facility contains a portable gamma detector, an automated gamma spectrometer, a benchtop liquid scintillation counter and an SBET analyser as well as access to a vast range of radiometric and non-radiometric instrumentation via the supporting facilities.
Users of NNUF-EXACT have access to the following supporting facilities:
- GAU-Radioanalytical Laboratories (GAU) is a long-established and experienced commercial group providing radioanalytical services, consultancy and research support for government, industrial and academic sectors. Accessible instrumentation includes alpha and gamma spectrometry (HPGe and LEGe), liquid scintillation counters, gas flow proportional counting and mass spectrometry (ICP-QQQ).
- The University of Southampton’s Geochemistry Research Group is equipped with a world-class range of analytical equipment including ICP-MS, high resolution ICP-MS, multi-collector ICP-MS, TIMS AF4-mass spectrometry. These instruments can be equipped with sample introduction components to enable the handling of radioactive solutions and solids by NNUF-EXACT facility users.
- The University of Southampton's Organic Geochemistry Facility is part of the newly established SEAPORT laboratories. The facility includes a dedicated sample preparation lab and automated gas and liquid chromatographs linked to mass spectrometers which include compound specific isotope ratio mass spectrometry.
- Access to the Bristol Interface Analysis Centre is provided through the NNUF-EXACT partner organisation, the South West Nuclear Hub. The Bristol Interface Analysis Centre hosts a wide range of advanced materials science analysis techniques including X-ray tomography, FIBS / SEM and SEM / EDX.
NNUF-EXACT is open for research and development and available for access by external users. Alternatively, remote access can also be arranged, whereby laboratory work is conducted by EXACT staff on behalf of external users. Please do reach out to the NNUF-EXACT team, to start discussing access, at any point.
For further information please consult the facility's page on the University of Southampton's website, and/or contact:
As a first step, please email NNUF-EXACT@soton.ac.uk to contact NNUF-EXACT for a discussion about the practical feasibility of your proposed research project. Then, you will need to complete a simple NNUF application form. When doing so, please upload an email exchange between you and a member of staff at NNUF-EXACT, confirming the feasibility of your proposed research. Please see the access page of this website for more detail about the NNUF funded access scheme.
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