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Frazer-Nash leading second phase of BEIS thermal hydraulics project

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Systems and engineering technology company, Frazer-Nash Consultancy, is working with partners to undertake a £2.5 million nuclear thermal hydraulics research and development project for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Project partners include Checkendon Hill, DBD, EDF Energy, LeadCold, Moltex Energy, National Nuclear Laboratory, Rolls-Royce, Science & Technology Facilities Council, Terrestrial Energy, the University of Manchester, the University of Sheffield, U-Battery and Westinghouse.

Advances in thermal hydraulics are essential to ensure safety, enhance designs, and improve performance of advanced nuclear technologies. The project, which will run from March 2019 to March 2021, will focus on the industrial application and commercialisation of a UK thermal hydraulics capability, and how it can be used to support reactor developers in the UK and internationally.

The first phase of the project, which ran from 2017 to 2019, delivered two specifications: one for a new thermal hydraulics test facility, and one for new thermal hydraulic model development. Initial innovative research on model development was also undertaken – this research has the potential for industrial application and is being taken forward into Phase 2.

In Phase 2, six technical volumes on thermal hydraulic phenomena will be produced, containing good practice for industry and regulators. In addition, four case studies will demonstrate the use of the technical volumes to advanced nuclear technology applications. Reactor developers will be associated with each case study, to ensure that they are useful to industry.

Frazer-Nash’s Technical Lead for the thermal hydraulics research and development project, Richard Underhill, said:

“The thermal hydraulics project is a fundamental part of achieving the objective of the BEIS Nuclear Innovation Programme: to develop a digital reactor design capability within the UK. The goals of the programme include establishing a world leading UK capability in thermal hydraulics for passive safety systems; becoming a preferred partner for engagement in international collaborative design projects for new reactors; and reducing the cost of nuclear reactor design and build.  

“We want to break through the technology readiness level (TRL) barriers, and develop tools and methods that can be used by industry to support real reactor developments. This project will allow the nuclear sector to benefit from innovation developed in other sectors, and enable the UK to become an international leader on the subject of thermal hydraulics.

“By focusing on research and development, we can fill in gaps in knowledge, improve best practice, and develop new methods to support industrial applications. The nuclear industry needs to innovate and use digital design processes to deliver better reactor designs and improve efficiency – this work will support the sector’s need to reduce costs.

“Upskilling is a key component of this programme, and the information from Phase 2 of the project will be shared and disseminated through a special interest group (SIG) on nuclear thermal hydraulics.”

Additional information about the project can be found at:


The views expressed in this news story are solely those of Frazer-Nash Consultancy.