Science and Engineering in Collaboration to Support Safe Operation of the Graphite Reactor Cores

The fifth EdF Energy Generation Ltd Nuclear Graphite Conference will take place at THE GRAND HARBOUR HOTEL Southampton Tuesday – Thursday 10th-12th May 2016 (arrival and check-in from 2pm, Monday May 9th).

16171896759_e85a712d19_bThis conference will be the fifth in a series which has charted the extensive research and modelling of the irradiation behaviour of the graphite moderator in the UK Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors which has contributed to the successful production of safety cases for continued reactor operation well beyond their original design lives, thus playing a vital role in maintaining adequate electricity supplies in the United Kingdom during the transition from fossil-fuelled generation to extended reliance on renewables and new nuclear.

The previous conferences, held in Cardiff, Nottingham (East Midlands Conference Centre), Aston and Nottingham (again, The National College) attracted attendances of nearly 100 delegates representing the key supporting organisations to EdF Energy, specialised University research departments, consultants and regulators. The full proceedings of each conference have been published following comprehensive peer review, either by The Royal Society of Chemistry or by EMAS Publishing, and this will also be the case for the 2016 conference.

Conference Themes

The main theme of the conference is “Science and Engineering in Collaboration to Support Safe Operation of the Graphite Reactor Cores”, and abstracts may be submitted in any relevant discipline – engineering, physics, chemistry, materials science, statistical or structural analysis, etc.

Special sessions with the following more specific topic areas for discussion are under consideration:

  • Microstructure: Is there a common position amongst the specialists on what really counts (to determine irradiation behaviour)?
  • Irradiation Creep: Is irradiation creep just an amendment upon dimensional-change behaviour?
  • Reactor Inspection: Can we inspect just part of a core to understand the state of the whole core with adequate confidence?
  • Cracking of Components: Are the consequences of cracking greater for single cracking compared with doubly-cracked bricks?

Papers need NOT, however, be confined to these specific topics, and contributions on all aspects of the nuclear graphite life cycle (in the AGR context) will be considered.

Abstracts are now Invited

Abstracts of between 100 – 200 words (diagrams and figures are not recommended) should be prepared in Microsoft Word according to the ABSTRACT TEMPLATE. On no account should they exceed one page of A4.

Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to:

Please use the subject line EdF Graphite Conference Abstract for your e-mail


Abstracts must be received by 28th FEBRUARY 2016

Receipt of all abstracts will be acknowledged.


It is extremely important that these deadlines are adhered to!

The TEMPLATE for the full papers can be found here: EdF Conference Paper Template


The conference fee includes your hotel room and all meals commencing with dinner at 8pm on Monday May 9th and concluding with afternoon tea and biscuits at 4pm on Thursday May 12th. Please note that delegates must check out of rooms after breakfast on Thursday May 12th – a secure luggage store will be provided in the conference office.

There will be a welcome reception at 7pm on Monday 9th May prior to dinner: this will include the (very brief) Annual General Meeting of “The British Carbon Group”, which is administering this event. All are invited to learn more about the activities of the group, which is a specialist subject group of The Royal Society of Chemistry, The Institute of Physics and The Society of Chemical Industry.

There will be a conference banquet on Wednesday 11th May at 8pm. Drinks will be provided for the banquet and for the welcome reception: at other times, delegates may avail themselves of the hotel bar.

A social event is planned for the afternoon of Wednesday 11th May: this will most likely be to Beaulieu in The New Forest (motor museum and other attractions – see website). This is included in the registration fee.

Reduced fees are available for members of The British Carbon Group, delegates from sponsoring companies, students, and retirees.

The Registration Form may be downloaded here: Registration Form

Please e-mail your registration form and payment details to the conference secretariat  NO LATER THAN 31st MARCH 2016 to guarantee your room reservation


Delegates are asked, where possible, to pay by credit/debit card. The banking details for direct bank transfers will be provided upon request. Please note that purchase orders and requests for invoices are NOT appreciated as this creates unnecessary work: if your organisation insists upon this, please explore the option of paying your own fees and claiming them back internally!

For security reasons you may wish to withhold part of your card details: in this case, please omit the expiry date from the form and send this information separately, with your full name as shown on the card, by text to +44 (0) 7785 567 577. Please note that provision of the security code on the back of your card is mandatory, and payment cannot be taken without it.

Provisional Programme

Monday 9th May 2016

14h00              Registration Opens (Mayflower Foyer); check in to hotel
19h00              Welcome Reception (Mayflower Foyer)
19h30              Annual General Meeting, British Carbon Group
20h00              Dinner (Boardwalk Restaurant)

Tuesday 10th May 2016

From 07h30    Breakfast
09h00              Conference Opens: Plenary Speaker to be announced
10h00 – 13h00 and 14h00 – 16h00   Sessions (includes morning coffee break and lunch)
16h00              Coffee break
16h30              Themed discussions commence
19h30              Dinner (Boardwalk Restaurant)
20h30              Themed discussions continue

Wednesday 11th May 2016

From 07h30    Breakfast
09h00 – 13h00 Sessions (includes coffee break)
13h00              Lunch
14h00 tbc        Depart for social event (coaches: details to be announced)
19h00              Arrival back to hotel
19h30              Reception
20h00              Gala Dinner (Mayflower Suite)

Thursday 12th May 2016

From 07h30    Breakfast
n.b. – check out of rooms!
09h00 – 13h00 and 14h00 – 16h00 Sessions (includes coffee breaks and lunch)
16h00              Departure

The possibility of organising a day’s cruiser sailing on The Solent (on the Sunday preceding the conference) is under consideration. The cost per person would be around £100, based on a minimum of 10 persons participating. This is being organised separately from the conference. If interested, please contact MARK DAVIES on or +44 (0) 7885675793 directly.

No rooms have been reserved at The Grand Harbour Hotel for the Saturday or Sunday nights. Once the demand for sailing has been established, it may be possible to include additional room reservations as part of the conference registration payment.

Neither the Conference Management nor The British Carbon Group can accept any liabilities or responsibilities in respect of the sailing event.



The Grand Harbour Hotel

West Quay Road
Telephone: +44 (0) 23 8063 3033

By rail: to Southampton Central, followed by an inexpensive taxi ride or a brisk walk

By road: from M3 take junction 13 to the M27. From the west, join M27. Exit at Junction 3 to the M271 and follow A33 (Millbrook Road West, signs to ‘Southampton Waterfront’). At a major junction fork slightly to the right into West Quay Road. The distinctive building will be found on the left-hand side of the road opposite the main cruiser terminals. On-site car parking (complementary) is available ON A FIRST-COME FIRST-SERVED basis: otherwise there are public NCP car parks nearby (walking distance)

­By air: flights from a limited number of destinations arrive to Southampton Airport, from where a train connection to Southampton Central Station or a bus connection is available. Any delegates arriving into London Heathrow should take the London Underground Piccadilly-line service to Piccadilly Circus, change to the Bakerloo line to Waterloo station, exit, and take the network Rail service to Southampton Central. From London Gatwick take a ‘Southern’ service to Victoria (cheaper than ‘Gatwick Express’), London Underground (any eastbound Circle or District Line service) to Embankment then either Bakerloo Line or Northern Line southbound one stop to Waterloo station and take the Network Rail service to Southampton Central.


Conference Chairman:
Prof. Peter Flewitt, The University of Bristol

Conference Manager:
Prof. Tony Wickham, Cwmchwefru Farm, Llanafanfawr,  Builth Wells, Powys LD2 3PW            +44 (0) 1597 860 633
+44 (0) 7785 567 577
n.b. contact details may change during spring 2016 – please check this page!

EdF Manager:
Dr James Reed (Barnwood, Gloucester)

Conference Staff:
Mr Sam Church

Small Print

Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this information, no responsibly for errors or any consequences thereof can be accepted by The British Carbon Group, EdF Energy Generation Ltd, The Grand Harbour Hotel Ltd., Southampton (De Vere Hotels) or by any named individual.

The British Carbon Group is registered in accordance with The Data Protection Act 1998 and subsequent amendments. No personal data will be shared with any third party without permission (see also registration form) and no card data will be retained beyond the conclusion of the meeting either in electronic or paper form. Card payments are handled through WorldPay on behalf of The National Westminster Bank.

The British Carbon Group acts only as agent for the reservation of personal accommodation. Any issues relating to your hotel accommodation must be taken up directly with the hotel. No responsibility can be accepted by The British Carbon Group for loss or damage to personal items during the conference, and cars are parked at the hotel or elsewhere at your own risk.