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High Flux Accelerator-Driven Neutron Facility

The extension to Medical Physics for a new High Flux Accelerator-Driven Neutron Facility at the University of Birmingham involved the creation of a new laboratory space, which is the first facility of its kind in the UK.

The project will provide the University with new ventures into international research supporting research involved with nuclear fission and fusion, reactor materials and neutron sensors (which will aid the Government in meeting clean energy and carbon emission targets).

The irradiation capability of this facility will combine with the existing high-energy light-ion accelerator to create a single UK user irradiation facility - the most intense accelerator-driven neutron source worldwide.

Working closely with the engineers, the client team and the equipment manufacturers we navigated the radiation shielding implications of the existing structure and ground levels and works adjacent to the grade 2* listed Aston Webb.

Incorporation of the specific design requirements of the High Flux accelerator manufacturer, was key to the project development. The system was designed and installed by Neutron Therapeutics and required millimetre accuracy and management of tolerances within the construction of the concrete bunker, which itself was constructed below ground to match the existing sub-basement levels of the Medical Physics building. Working with the team, lead physicist and specialist subcontractors, bespoke radiation shielding doors were designed, allowing for future modification ensuring that the space is capable of assisting the University's production of medical isotopes and research projects is safe.

The development will also enable new researchers to learn innovative techniques and gain new knowledge, and is bookable by University researchers as well as external commercial partners.

High Flux Accelerator-Driven Neutron Facility


The new High Flux Accelerator Driven Neutron Facility at the University of Birmingham is the first installation of its kind anywhere in Europe and provides a unique opportunity for research associated with the UK Nuclear Energy programme. It presents the ability to develop an understanding of the radiobiology of neutron interactions in medical physics and cancer therapy. The equipment produces over 2.5million volts of power and is located in a new underground laboratory behind thick concrete walls.

There are only two other similar facilities globally outside of the USA, these being Japan and Scandinavia, but at the UoB Site on the Edgbaston Campus, they are able to combine the outputs with their Cyclotron, providing wholly unique research offering for university academic research and with external commercial partners.