University of Sheffield engineers chosen to advise government on nuclear waste management

  • Two nuclear engineers from the University of Sheffield have been appointed to HM Government’s Advisory Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM)
  • Professor Neil Hyatt and Dr Claire Corkhill are internationally recognised for their research on nuclear waste
  • Resolving the issue of how the UK manages its nuclear waste is an important environmental protection project
  • Engineers set to support the development of policy and strategy for the safe long-term management of the UK radioactive waste inventory

Dr Claire Corkhill from the University of Sheffield Professor Neil Hyatt from the University of Sheffield

Two nuclear engineers from the University of Sheffield, who are renowned around the world for their research and expertise on nuclear waste, have been appointed to HM Government’s Advisory Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM).

Professor Neil Hyatt and Dr Claire Corkhill – from the University of Sheffield Energy Institute and Immobilisation Science Laboratory – have many years’ experience of developing and evaluating solutions for the long-term safe storage of waste materials generated by the world’s nuclear industry.

CoRWM is an independent body that actively scrutinises and advises ministers of the UK government, and devolved administrations, on the plans and programmes for long-term management of higher activity radioactive wastes.

In England and Wales, this also includes the geological disposal of radioactive wastes in a deep, purpose-built engineered facility. Members are appointed by, and report to, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on behalf of the UK government and devolved administrations.

Dr Corkhill, Reader in Nuclear Materials Corrosion at the University of Sheffield, said: “Resolving the issue of how we deal with radioactive wastes, now and in the long-term, is an important environmental protection project. We have accumulated nuclear waste for over 70 years, and while this material is safe and secure in the short term, existing storage arrangements are inadequate for long-term disposal.

“We have a duty to establish suitable disposal facilities for the waste already generated, and that which is still to come. Given the 100,000 years or more that these wastes will remain hazardous, it is crucial that we don’t leave the problem to be solved by future generations.”

Professor Hyatt, Professor of Radioactive Waste Management at the University of Sheffield, added: “This is an exciting time to be joining CoRWM, with the process for siting the UK’s Geological Disposal Facility underway. We are looking forward to bringing our expertise, and working with the Committee, to support the development of policy and strategy for the safe long-term management of the UK radioactive waste inventory.”

Internationally recognised as leaders in their field, Professor Hyatt and Dr Corkhill are part of the University of Sheffield Energy Institute, which is finding low-carbon solutions to some of the world’s biggest energy challenges.

The Energy Institute carries out energy research across a wide spectrum of fields, including renewable, nuclear and conventional energy generation, energy storage, energy use and carbon capture, utilisation and storage technology. Its multi- and interdisciplinary research teams work with industry and government on sustainable solutions.

Research into nuclear energy is one of the institute’s strengths, with its academics conducting world leading research to ensure nuclear power can generate electricity safely, securely and sustainably.

Additional information

University of Sheffield Energy Institute

Immobilisation Science Laboratory – University of Sheffield

Engineering at the University of Sheffield

The University of Sheffield

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.

Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

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Contact

For further information please contact:

Sean Barton
Media Relations Officer
University of Sheffield
0114 222 9852
s.barton@sheffield.ac.uk