PhD Studentship Treatment of Irradiated Graphite ‘From Core to Capture’

Supervisor Academic Supervisor: Dr Abbie Jones
Academic Advisors: Prof Barry Marsden and visiting Professor Tony Wickham
Industrial Supervisor: Dr Mara Lindberg (Studvik)

Eligibility UK and EU

Start date-closing date for applications: 1 November – 30th December 2013

Funding & Fees Stipend is £13,590, fees £3828

Sponsor & details of top up funding Sponsored by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB)

Qualifications applicants should have/expected to receive: 1st class or 2:1 Degree or Masters in a relevant science or engineering subject; Good IT skills and a working knowledge of Microsoft Office essential as well as good time management, organisational and communication skills.

Amount of funding available and eligibility: Full PhD fees and stipend for 36 months, eligible for UK and EU students
Contact for further information: Dr Abbie Jones –

Project Short Description

Graphite has been used as moderator material predominantly in UK reactors for the past 70  years, now the operation of many of these reactors have ceased there are an estimated to be 100,000 tonnes of irradiated graphite requiring decommissioning. Over the past seven years the NGRG has made significant contributions in the treatment and characterisation of irradiated graphite post reactor closure through major involvement with large FP7 Euroatom projects and IAEA programs. The group currently has two controlled laboratories and three supervised laboratories dedicated to graphite research that contain an extensive amount of experimental apparatus. This project is part of a new £1.6M consortium with the University of Manchester and major industrial partners including Bradtech, Hyder, Studsvik and Costain and is sponsored by the Technology Strategy Board. The motivation is to develop research level understanding of the thermal gasification of irradiated graphite waste scalable through to industrial application with assistance from the industrial partners.
We seek a motivated graduate in Engineering, Materials, Chemistry or Physics to undertake a PhD Studentship in Nuclear Graphite Decommissioning.

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The project ambitions are to develop an alternative route to geological disposal by fully treating and immobilising irradiated graphite, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences from reactor cores through to Carbon Capture of the off-gases. The PhD student will develop and perform experimental studies on the complete crushing and gasification lab scale nuclear graphite samples. In addition the student will have the opportunity to develop radiochemical speciation processes for 14C and 36Cl analysis along side with a PDRA. The successful student will have the opportunity to liaise closely with the industrial partners in order to develop a scalable research project and will also be encouraged to publish their research findings in a selection of high quality journals.

Project Details

The student will work along side of the NGRG team and will gain training in radioactive protection and handling, as well as experience in developing and utilising experimental systems instrumentation in a research setting. The successful applicant will gain an understanding of material behaviour, in order to meeting the project’s deliverables, which include:

  • Developing a program of for particle size reduction of graphite within the laboratories of the NGRG for final gasification.
  • the preparation of reports and project documents for industrial partners
  • Publish research findings in high quality scientific journals
  • Networking and interaction with other universities, similar research centres, and the nuclear industry.

General enquiries relating to the postgraduate application process within Mechanical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering should be directed to: Marilyn Bryan, PGR Admissions Administrator Tel: +44(0)161 306 9219 : email:

Further information on how to apply can be found by clicking on the Apply button below.

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