Advanced engineering analysis for safe operation and life extension of nuclear power stations

UofG engineering research has established a new methodology and computational framework to examine brittle crack propagation in the complex environments such as within a nuclear reactor. They have developed analysis software and provided the accompanying technical support for predicting and assessing critical, life-limiting structural integrity issues for civil nuclear reactors in the UK. These have assisted the operator, EDF, in assessing the ongoing safe operation of ageing nuclear power stations and have supported nuclear safety cases for the continued and future operation of stations. As more reactors approach their end of life, this research has helped to identify future issues and influenced plans for inspections. This work has contributed to both securing the UK’s baseload electricity supply (currently ~17% from nuclear) and achieving the UK’s low-carbon energy targets.