British multinational consultancy Amec Foster Wheeler has opened a new research laboratory to develop advanced energy systems.

The laboratory was granted £2m funding from the UK department of business, energy, and industrial strategy for construction. Known as High-Temperature Facility (HTF), it will provide access for research organisations to test materials used in applications such as Generation IV nuclear fission, fusion, and advanced gas turbines.

The HTF is built to conduct tests up to 1,000°C and perform under demanding conditions such as pressurised gas and liquid metal.

"The HTF will improve our understanding about how materials perform at high-temperatures."

Amec Foster Wheeler's clean energy business vice-president Greg Willetts said: “The new laboratory and the HTF Alliance will help to re-establish the UK as a major contributor to advanced technology for new nuclear reactors and other new energy systems.

“The HTF will improve our understanding about how materials perform at high-temperatures, which is vital in the development of new technologies.”

HTF Alliance is a consortium comprising companies and organisations, including National Nuclear Laboratory, EDF Energy, the UK Atomic Energy Authority, URENCO, the University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute, the Universities of Bristol and Oxford, the Open University, and Imperial College London.

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HTF will be managed by Amec Foster Wheeler and is based at its Technology and Innovation Centre at Birchwood Park, Warrington.

The laboratory will help researchers develop data and predictive models to strengthen the selection, manufacture, and performance of advanced materials for nuclear reactors and other energy generation technology.