Game Changers and AFCP announce innovation challenge awards

Through its partnership with the Game Changers innovation programme, AFCP is excited to progress with five inventive ideas that address advanced fuel cycle technical challenges. These new partnerships build on AFCP’s global network, leveraging creativity and collaboration to support a Net Zero future.
AFCP and Game Changers logos

Earlier this year, the Advanced Fuel Cycle Programme (AFCP) and Game Changers launched a call for creative, cross-sector solutions to support UK clean energy ambition.

The results are in: AFCP is now progressing with five concepts powered by the Game Changers network.

This announcement marks an exciting advancement in the partnership between Game Changers and AFCP. From initial identification of top technical challenges through to launching a call for applications, Game Changers has been a valuable collaborator for the programme’s National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL) innovation team.

The three AFCP challenges launched by Game Changers were:

  • Shape sorting of coated particle fuel: supporting the development of nuclear fuels of the future
  • Treatment of nitrogen oxides from nuclear fuel recycling off-gases: minimising the environmental impact of advanced recycling while ensuring industry effectively meets regulatory standards
  • Controlling oxygen and moisture levels in salts during pyrochemical processing: refining the chemical and physical processes utilised to transform used nuclear reactor material into new fuel

The call received a range of high-quality submissions. Of the 11 applications received, five have been awarded funding to complete feasibility studies.

The two successful applications for the shape sorting of coated particle fuel challenge were from the University of Sheffield and Capgemini. The three organisations awarded funding in the treatment of nitrogen oxides challenge are Edwards Ltd, the York Plasma Institute based at York University and the American company Aqua Metrology Systems. A number of interesting applications were received in response to the controlling oxygen and moisture in salts challenge, but none have been funded at this time.

Tim Whitworth, AFCP Innovation Lead, commented:

We’re delighted to be working with the Game Changers team on promoting these technically diverse and complex challenges. The response received was fantastic, with innovative solutions being proposed from national and international applicants; keen to engage with AFCP. We’re really excited to see the outputs from this initial phase of work and develop our collaboration with the applicants.

Feasibility studies are expected to be completed in July 2021. Outputs will include detailed plans for proof-of-concept projects which will build on the feasibility study results.

Read more about the announcement on the Game Changers website.

AFCP is part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) £505m Energy Innovation Programme.