Secretary of State for Transport visits Dalton Cumbrian Facility

Patrick McLoughlin, the Secretary of State for Transport, visited the University’s Dalton Cumbrian Facility (DCF) on Thursday 8 January 2015, during a day in Cumbria.

After informally meeting the Facility's early stage researchers and established academics, the Secretary toured the facility to see the new world-leading capabilities for research on advanced materials for nuclear, which has been enabled by Government investment through the NNUF and the EPSRC ON-SIDE grant.

The students and postdoctoral researchers took the opportunity to demonstrate new and novel autonomous systems technology for nuclear decommissioning under development with NNL and Sellafield. They also highlighted research advances which address the radiation science challenges associated with the nuclear legacy, and of continued power generation with existing nuclear plant, as well as assuring energy security with technologies for new nuclear power

Mr McLoughlin highlighted the importance of both training and innovation, emphasising the need for aspiration, and of striving for excellence. He also focused attention on the national economic importance of technology transfer and the impact of research, being particularly impressed by the INNOVUS programme. This is a joint initiative by The University of Manchester and the National Nuclear Laboratory to move research ideas forward from concept to demonstration and application, and from university and national lab to SME and nuclear site.

While admiring the high tech capabilities of the DCF provided by the funding of the NDA and the University - and considerably enhance by Government investment through the NNUF and the EPSRC ON-SIDE grant - the SofS suggested a visit by Chancellor George Osborne, who has a significant interest in the science underpinning the UK economy.

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