Atomic Weapons Establishment

Reading, United Kingdom

Atomic Weapons Establishment

Reading, United Kingdom

The Atomic Weapons Establishment is responsible for the design, manufacture and support of warheads for the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent. AWE plc is responsible for the day-to-day operations of AWE. AWE plc is owned by a consortium of Jacobs Engineering Group, Lockheed Martin UK, and Serco through AWE Management Ltd who hold a 25‑year contract to operate AWE. All AWE sites remain owned by the UK government who also hold a golden share in AWE plc. The company is based close to Aldermaston , with major facilities at Burghfield.The Atomic Weapons Establishment is the successor of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment , which was built on the site of a former airfield, RAF Aldermaston. Other Atomic Weapons Establishment sites could be found at ROF Burghfield, Burghfield and ROF Cardiff, Llanishen, Cardiff, the former Royal Ordnance Factories; Orford Ness and Foulness Island. The ROF Cardiff, Orford Ness and Foulness Island sites are now closed.The establishment is the final destination for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament's annual march from Trafalgar Square, London. The first Aldermaston March was conceived by the Direct Action Committee and took place in 1958. There is currently a monthly women's peace camp held outside the Establishment to protest against its existence.AWE has become the target of a campaign, Action AWE of protest specifically aimed curtailing its production at the next UK elections. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2013.1.5-1 | Award Amount: 7.13M | Year: 2014

Forensic investigation is a key component in the fight against crime and the protection of EU societies. At present it is hampered by a lack of protocols and training in carrying out forensic analysis on CBRN-contaminated materials. The aim of GIFT-CBRN is to develop a forensic toolbox for investigating CBRN incidents. This toolbox would provide (1) procedures, sampling methods and detection of CBRN agents at the crime scene, (2) traditional forensic laboratory methods for contaminated evidence and (3) laboratory methods for profiling the CBRN agents released at the incident. The procedures and methods are will be set up and validated according to ISO17025 and the system validation will be performed by a final exercise. Procedures for chain of custody, QC to ensure the integrity of the evidence and investigations done on the evidence from crime scene to court will be developed. An education and training curriculum related to the developed procedures, best practices and methods will be designed and progressed to implementation. Underpinning the above aims, research will be carried out to develop novel methodologies to enable traditional forensic science (DNA, fingerprint and electronic devices) to be carried out on CBRN contaminated exhibits and analytical procedures to be carried out that not only provide information about the CBRN agent itself but also through CBRN profiling provide in-depth information which can give valuable forensic information, for example points of origin. The project team includes forensic research laboratories, potential users of the expected developments, including public and private users, and SMEs who will be able to bring the new technologies developed within the project to market.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: Fission-2009-3.1.1 | Award Amount: 21.29M | Year: 2010

The aim of DoReMi is to promote the sustainable integration of low dose risk research in Europe in order to aid the effective resolution of the key policy questions identified by the High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Low Dose Risk Research (www.hleg.de). DoReMi provides an operational tool for the development of the proposed MELODI platform (Multidisciplinary European Low Dose Risk Re-search Initiative) consisting of major national bodies and research programmes that have long term commitment in low dose risk research in Europe. A Letter of Intent between the core members of MELODI has been signed in April 2009. During the project, new members are expected to join the Initiative. The Joint Programme of Activities (JPA) of DoReMi includes: (i) a Joint Programme of Research (JPR) covering the issues outlined above and providing an overview of the needs for research infra-structures of pan-European interest and facilitating multilateral initiatives leading to better use and development of research infrastructures; (ii) a Joint Programme of Integration (JPI) to develop a coor-dinated European roadmap for the long term needs of the key players in Europe; and (iii) a Joint Pro-gramme for the Spreading of Excellence (JPSE), covering knowledge management, training and mo-bility and its implementation. The JPR focuses on the areas identified by the HLEG as the most prom-ising in terms of addressing/resolving the key policy questions, namely: the shape of dose response curve for cancer, individual susceptibilities and non-cancer effects. Radiation quality, tissue sensitivity and internal exposures will be addressed as cross cutting themes within the three main research areas. A substantial proportion of the JPA will be dedicated to the joint programme of research. The pro-gramme describes a multidisciplinary approach including interfaces with the broader biological toxico-logical and epidemiological communities. Strategic planning will be carried out in close collaboration with MELODI. The long term Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) will be developed by MELODI, whereas DoReMi research priorities are based on a shorter term Transitional Research Agenda (TRA), focusing on goals that are feasible to achieve within the 6 year project and areas where barriers need to be removed in order to proceed with the longer term strategic objectives.


Bourne N.K.,Atomic Weapons Establishment
Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science | Year: 2011

An understanding of the behavior of materials in mechanical extremes has become a pressing need in order to exploit new environments. Any impulse consists of a cascade of deformation mechanisms starting with ultrafast and concluding with slower ones, yet these have not been suitably defined over the past years. This requirement has prompted the design of new experimental platforms and diagnostics and an increase in modern computer power. However, this effort has removed necessary focus on the operating suite of deformation mechanisms activated in loaded materials. This article reviews the material response and attempts to order physical pathways according to the length and time scales they operate within. A dimensionless constant is introduced to scale the contributions of component pathways by quantifying their completion with respect to the loading impulse applied. This concept is extended to suggest a new framework to describe the response to arbitrary insult and to show the relevance of particular techniques to component parts of the problem. The application of a step impulse via shock loading is shown to be the primary derivation experiment to address these needs and map components of the response. © 2011 The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International.


Youngs D.L.,Atomic Weapons Establishment
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences | Year: 2013

Previous research on self-similar mixing caused by Rayleigh-Taylor (RT) instability is summarized and a recent series of high resolution large eddy simulations is described. Mesh sizes of approximately 2000 × 1000 × 1000 are used to investigate the properties of high Reynolds number self-similar RT mixing at a range of density ratios from 1.5: 1 to 20: 1. In some cases, mixing evolves from 'small random perturbations'. In other cases, random long wavelength perturbations (k-3 spectrum) are added to give self-similar mixing at an enhanced rate, more typical of that observed in experiments. The properties of the turbulent mixing zone (volume fraction distributions, turbulence kinetic energy, molecular mixing parameter, etc.) are related to the RT growth rate parameter, α. Comparisons are made with experimental data on the internal structure and the asymmetry of the mixing zone (spike distance/bubble distance). The main purpose of this series of simulations is to provide data for calibration of engineering models (e.g. Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes models). It is argued that the influence of initial conditions is likely to be significant in most applications and the implications of this for engineering modelling are discussed. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


Barlow A.J.,Atomic Weapons Establishment
Computers and Fluids | Year: 2013

A first order cell centred Lagrangian Godunov scheme based upon the use of a dual grid to determine vertex velocities was presented by the author in [A.J. Barlow, P.L. Roe, A cell centred Lagrangian Godunov scheme for shock hydrodynamics, Comput. Fluids, 46 (2011) 133-136]. A second order version of the scheme is presented and results obtained with the new scheme are compared against those obtained with a staggered grid compatible finite element scheme [A.J. Barlow, A compatible finite element multi-material ALE hydrodynamics algorithm, Int. J. Numer. Methods Fluids 56 (2008) 953-964]. The new scheme is shown to provide comparable shock capturing to the staggered grid method while retaining the benefits of reduced mesh imprinting, robustness and improved symmetry preservation observed for the first order cell centred scheme [A.J. Barlow, P.L. Roe, A cell centred Lagrangian Godunov scheme for shock hydrodynamics, Comput. Fluids, 46 (2011) 133-136]. Two different approaches are also considered for moving the vertices using the dual grid approach, a method which reconstructs nodal velocities at the start of every timestep and a second that carries the nodal velocities as an additional variable. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


A model for the initiation of hydride sites on uranium metal is described for conditions of constant hydrogen pressure. The model considers variations in hydrogen permeation through the surface oxide film due to intrinsic variations in the oxide thickness. It is proposed that thin areas of surface oxide favour enhanced hydrogen permeation through the oxide and lead to the more rapid initiation of hydride sites. The time and spatial dependence of the hydrogen concentration field in the metal underlying thin areas of oxide is calculated in terms of the local oxide film thickness, the hydrogen diffusion coefficients in the oxide and metal and the hydrogen concentration in the oxide at the gas-oxide interface. The time to precipitate hydride at any location is calculated by assuming that precipitation occurs once the hydrogen concentration in the metal attains the terminal solubility limit of the metal at the prevalent temperature. The model is compatible with the reported temperature and pressure dependence of the hydride induction time. The model can also explain observations such as precipitation of hydride at or beneath the oxide-metal interface and the arrested growth of hydride sites. Finally, an expression is derived for the number of hydride sites initiated on an entire sample surface in any given time by assuming a Gaussian oxide film thickness distribution over the entire sample surface. © 2013 Crown Copyright.


Hutchinson M.D.,Atomic Weapons Establishment
Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics | Year: 2012

Previous papers by the author [1, 2] pointed to a discovery by Fisher [3] that an equation by Fano [4], when used to predict blast impulse from cased munitions, did not fit the available data. These previous papers showed that an alternative equation for casing-modified blast impulse could be derived directly from an equation by Gurney [5] for the kinetic energy balance between the mass of casing metal and the mass of explosive gases. However, this equation was derived for very ductile casings that are accelerated to their ideal Gurney velocity before they fracture. Many real casings, even under high dynamic strain rates, fracture before they can receive the full drive available from the explosive gases. This paper shows how the equation in reference [2] can be modified to allow for casing fracture at finite dynamic strain and provides validation for this modified equation from previously unpublished AWE archive experimental data. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Devey A.J.,Atomic Weapons Establishment
Journal of Nuclear Materials | Year: 2011

The actinide oxide UO2 is studied using the GGA + U method combined with monitoring of the orbital occupation matrices to avoid erroneous metastable states. The need to ensure strict convergence of the ground state energy with basis set energy cut-off is demonstrated, and a ground state is determined with a highly isotropic unit cell. Using this ground state the elastic constants and phonon modes of UO2 are calculated and found to be in excellent agreement with experimentally determined values. Peaks observed in the experimental far-infrared response spectra are reproduced, and related to the vibrational modes of the heavy atoms in a static oxygen sub-lattice. © 2011 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Selby N.D.,Atomic Weapons Establishment
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America | Year: 2011

Here, the implementation of the generalized F detector (Selby, 2008) as an automatic teleseismic signal detector is described. The method is applied to 10 days of waveform data from 13 small-aperture arrays of the primary seismic network of the International Monitoring System (IMS), which is being set up to monitor compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The results demonstrate that the generalized F method can be used as a signal detector at small-aperture arrays, despite the correlated noise that prevents the original F detector being useful at such arrays. By comparing lists of detections with predicted arrival times of first-arriving P-type phases from earthquakes in the Reviewed Event Bulletin (REB, produced by the International Data Centre, IDC, being set up to monitor the CTBT), it is shown here that the generalized F detector compares favorably with traditional signal detection methods used at the IDC, with more candidate associations being made despite the total number of F detections being about half of those made by the IDC. Increasing the proportion of associated detections should improve the efficiency with which automatic bulletins can be constructed, and reduce analyst workload. Further advantages over traditional methods are that the F detector approach is simple to explain, based on probability theory and physical models of noise and signals, treats each array equally and objectively, and does not require subjective tuning. Analysis of the vector slowness distribution of associated and unassociated detections shows that associated detections have similar distributions for both F and the IDC, whereas the distribution of unassociated detections can be different, with unassociated IDC detections at some arrays apparently being associated with correlated noise sources.


Ennaceur S.M.,Atomic Weapons Establishment
Thermochimica Acta | Year: 2012

The reaction mechanism of the α → β phase transformation in plutonium has been revisited using non-isothermal methods. The conditions for obtaining reproducible reaction parameters which take into account sample recovery from the effects of a previous phase transformation have been examined. The reaction mechanism for the α → β phase transformation performed on the material and under the conditions explained in this work can be described in considerably more detail than has previously been reported by following the change in activation energy as a function of the degree of transformation. This approach allows for a meaningful representation of the multi process reaction mechanism of the α → β phase transformation which reflects the change in influence of the governing mechanisms of nucleation, growth and impingement at different stages of the reaction. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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