The committee visited the Dalton Cumbrian Facility (DCF) on 19 June. This is a £20 million facility which opened in September 2013 and was jointly funded by the University of Manchester and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. It is a state-of-the-art ion beam and gamma irradiation facility for nuclear research and development and is part of the National Nuclear User Facility (NNUF), the National Ion Beam Centre and Royce Institute for Advanced materials.
The committee was given a tour around the facility, including visits to the ion accelerators and beamlines, gamma irradiator and materials characterisation laboratory. These facilities allow scientists to assess radiation damage in a short period, that would normally occur over longer timescales. The committee gained insight into the cutting-edge research going on at DCF exploring radiation damage in different materials key to the nuclear industry. A large portion of the research activities is dedicated to decommissioning and the safe management and disposal of radioactive waste.