News & events
First experiments in Culham's new Materials Research Facility | 15/02/2016
Construction of the Materials Research Facility (MRF) at Culham is complete and the building has already hosted its first experiments.
The MRF has been established to analyse material properties in support of both fission and fusion research. It will benefit university and industry users working on micro-characterisation of nuclear materials. It is part of the National Nuclear User Facility (NNUF) initiative, launched by the Government and funded by EPSRC, to set up a multi-site facility giving UK academia and industry access to internationally-leading experimental equipment
On Friday 12 February, the keys to the building were formally handed over by David Wilde, construction site manager for contractors E G Carter, to Martin O'Brien and James Treadgold of the UK Atomic Energy Authority.
Even before construction was officially completed, equipment from the existing materials lab at Culham was moved into the brand new building. In January, the nanoindenter – used to mechanically push and bend microscopic material samples – was installed and is now being used. Shibai Liao (pictured below second left) of Queen Mary University of London had the honour of being the first ‘user' of the facility. The Focussed Ion Beam is also installed and is presently being re-commissioned.
“We are delighted with the new building," said Martin O'Brien. "I would like to thank everyone involved with this successful project.
"We can now start commissioning the hot cells to bring the MRF to full operation. We are already planning future upgrades; the next few years will see many more millions of pounds invested in equipment and some of this funding is already agreed.”
For more details including information on how to apply for user access, see http://www.ccfe.ac.uk/mrl.aspx.