Nuclear Centre


Chemical Engineering

In the Department of Chemical Engineering we investigate advanced separation technologies for the spent nuclear fuel reprocessing cycle and their effects on the whole process flowsheet. We provide expertise in fluidization on a major project with NNL and Sellafield Ltd to deliver reliable operational performance and increased throughput of the Magnox Uranium Finishing Line of the Reprocessing Plant at Sellafield. The research includes detailed experimental investigations of the different separation technologies, design and control, numerical and process modelling. Working with NNL, Sellafield and the NDA, we are also developing new methods to assess the impact of radionuclide releases through a life cycle approach.


The work is supported by state-of-the art laboratories for the study of the various processes.  Facilities include high speed imaging and high power pulsed X-Ray imaging for the study of the complex flow patterns, laser based flow diagnostics for velocity and concentration fields in the process units, dry preparation of molten salts, a number of molten salt molten furnaces with electrochemical interfaces and dry box containing a molten salt reactor. The facilities in the UCL/Zeiss Centre for Correlative X-ray Microscopy are extensively used for characterising products and in situ studies.

Current projects include

  • Intensified liquid-liquid extraction technologies (impinging jets, small channels, countercurrent chromatography) and the application of novel solvents (ionic liquids)
  • Electrochemical processing of spent nuclear fuel using molten salts
  • Fluidization technologies for the processing of spent nuclear fuel
  • Life Cycle Analysis of nuclear waste management and plant decommissioning
  • Modelling, design and optimisation of the whole reprocessing cycle to inform decision making on processing routes, evaluating alternatives in the context of multiple criteria, including technoeconomic, environmental and safety

Academic staff

Staff Member
Contact Details
Prof. Pangiota Angeli p.angeli@ucl.ac.uk
+44 (0)20 7679 3832
Separations for nuclear spent fuel reprocessing; multiphase flows; ionic liquids; process intensification
Prof. Dan Brett d.brett@ucl.ac.uk
+44 (0)20 7679 3310
Molten salts; Pyroprocessing of spent nuclear fuel; Electrochemistry
Prof. Eric Fraga e.fraga@ucl.ac.uk
+44 (0)20 7679 3817
Process design, optimisation and simulation of spent fuel cycle
Prof. Bruce Hanson (Associate)  b.c.hanson@leeds.ac.uk nuclear recycling, nuclear waste management, solvent extraction, molten salts
Prof. Paola Lettieri p.lettieri@ucl.ac.uk
+44 (0)20 7679 7867
Life Cycle Analysis; particle technology, X-ray Imaging and fluidization for spent nuclear fuel reprocessing
Dr. Paul Shearing p.shearing@ucl.ac.uk
+44 (0)20 7679 3783
Molten salts; X-ray tomography for materials characterisation
Prof. Alberto Striolo a.striolo@ucl.ac.uk
+44 (0)20 7679 3826
Molecular thermodynamics; transport of radionuclides via narrow pores

Research staff 

Staff Member
Contact Details
Dr. Rema Abdulaziz  r.abdulaziz@ucl.ac.uk Molten salts; Pyroprocessing of spent nuclear fuel; Electrochemistry
Dr Vicky Lange v.lange@ucl.ac.uk Ionic liquids for actinide and lanthanide separations; countercurrent chromatography
Dr Massimiliano Materazzi materazzi.09@ucl.ac.uk Fluidization; reactor modelling and design for spent nuclear fuel reprocessing
Dr Dimitris Tsaoulidis dimitrios.tsaoulidis.10@ucl.ac.uk + 44 (0)20 7679 2643 Extractions for spent nuclear fuel reprocessing; ionic liquids

PhD students

Staff Member
Contact Details
Davide Bascone davide.bascone.14@ucl.ac.uk Optimal model
based design for reprocessing with novel intensified processing steps.
Chloe Knox chloe.knox.14@ucl.ac.uk Molten salts; spent nuclear fuel reprocessing
Qi Li qi.li.12@ucl.ac.uk Intensified extraction separations; CFD modelling
Eduardo Ortega eduardo.ortega.14@ucl.ac.uk Extractions; scale up; process intensification
Andrea Paulillo andrea.paulillo.14@ucl.ac.uk Life Cycle Assessment, Nuclear Waste Management, Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Radiological Impact Assessment