GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (GEH) announced today that it signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with The University of Manchester, according to a Tuesday release. The university will provide GEH with expert technical knowledge and input to the potential deployment of GEH’s innovative PRISM reactor, designed to disposition the U.K.’s growing plutonium stockpile while at the same time generating 600 megawatts of low-carbon electricity. The MOU follows the announcement last month at a nuclear industry conference that GEH and the National Nuclear Laboratory intend to collaborate. With more than 100 attendees, the conference was held in West Cumbria on April 4 for the purpose of exploring the support of potential U.K. business partners to deploy PRISM technology at Sellafield. The University of Manchester recently won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its nuclear research and skills development for the nuclear industry, making it an ideal partner to work with GEH in the potential deployment of PRISM, according to the release. “We continue to capitalize on the U.K.’s nuclear expertise and are excited by the opportunity of working with the esteemed and prestigious University of Manchester on this potential project,” said Danny Roderick, senior vice president of new plant projects for GEH. “Manchester is a growing center of expertise for the civil nuclear energy sector, so we’re delighted to work with them on PRISM, which we believe is the best way to manage the U.K.’s plutonium stockpile efficiently, securely and safely while generating low-carbon electricity at the same time.” “As one of the U.K.’s leading research universities, we are pleased that GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy has looked to The University of Manchester's Dalton Nuclear Institute to provide expert knowledge and experience to the potential U.K. application of a PRISM reactor,” said Tim Abram, professor of nuclear fuel technology at The University of Manchester. “PRISM has the potential to offer an attractive solution to the disposition of civil plutonium and we look forward to working with GEH as they progress with their proposals to deploy PRISM in the U.K.” The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has contracted GEH to carry out feasibility work in a number of key areas including the proposed commercial structure, disposability of the fuel, risk transfer model, costs and licensability of GEH’s PRISM offering
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