A SCIENTIST based in Birchwood has been honoured to lead a national nuclear power project.

Professor John Stairmand, who works for Jacobs at Birchwood Park, will lead UK research into materials for new nuclear reactors capable of powering a carbon net-zero economy.

The technical director of technology and cyber solutions will co-chair the Technical Advisory Board of SINDRI – Synergistic Utilization of Informatics and Data Centric Integrity Engineering.

This is a government and private sector-funded partnership of academic and industrial experts.

SINDRI’s task is to develop digital technology for the design, fabrication, and in-service assessment of nuclear power plant components.

“SINDRI is bringing together the UK’s foremost experts in materials, manufacturing and data science for the nuclear sector,” John said.

“By pioneering innovations that will make the nuclear power stations of the future safer and cheaper to build, operate and decommission, the project aims to make world-leading advances in structural integrity and materials science, and so take a huge step towards a net-zero carbon economy.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng recently announced that SINDRI had been awarded £2.4million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, matched by £3.4million from EDF as the lead industrial partner.

It aims to find ways to improve efficiency and reduce costs by moving from manual to digital processes of design, build and operation.

This framework which is to be developed will be incorporated into EDF's federated simulation ecosystem of multi-physics Digital Twins, replacing current manual processes.

EDF, the operator of the UK’s fleet of nuclear power stations, is currently building a new plant at Hinkley Point C in Somerset and is in negotiations with the Government to build another in Sizewell, Suffolk.