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Saturday, 22 November 2014

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West Cumbria nuclear research centre will be world leader

The University of Manchester has taken ownership of a new £20 million world-class nuclear research centre in west Cumbria.

The Dalton Cumbrian Facility (DCF) is a base for the university’s Dalton Nuclear Institute. It will bring world-leading academic research to west Cumbria and help transfer knowledge to the industry.

Professor Andrew Sherry, director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute, said: “The University of Manchester’s (DCF) will integrate with other facilities in the north of England to establish a truly unique and world-leading capability.”

It is also a key part of the growing skills and education sector in west Cumbria as part of the Britain’s Energy Coast programme.

Research at the facility will focus primarily on the areas of radiation science, radiochemistry, nuclear engineering decommissioning and the management of radioactive waste.

The facility will become fully functional during 2012 following delivery and commissioning of a particle accelerator, the largest and most complex research equipment to be housed there.

The (DCF) will eventually house around 50 post-doctoral and PhD researchers, academic lecturers and operating personnel and is expected to attract leading UK and overseas academics to carry out research and deliver lectures.

It boasts detailed computer modelling capability as well as large-scale experimental laboratories.

The University of Manchester will also have links to the National Nuclear Laboratory’s research and development facilities at Sellafield and in Workington.

The project was managed by Drivers Jonas Deloitte and it was designed by Wilson Mason Architects.

It has given the local construction industry a major boost with almost half of the £4.8m building contract spent on employing local contractors and suppliers.

Copeland MP Jamie Reed said “This is the second major piece of good news in west Cumbria in recent weeks.

“The handover of the DCF to The University of Manchester along with the positive announcement on the Energy Coast Regional Growth Fund bid are very practical demonstrations of how we, as partners, are developing our educational and skills base to meet the future economic needs of the area.

“I look forward to the DCF becoming fully operational in 2012.”

The university and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has funded its creation.

Construction is complete on the site at the Westlakes Science and Technology Park near Whitehaven. The work was led by principal contractor Morgan Sindall.

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