STFC ISIS: High Resolution Powder Diffractometer HRPD-X Upgrade

16 May 2024

Didcot, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

ISIS Neutron and Muon Source is based at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire and is a world-leading centre for research in the physical and life sciences. It is owned and operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, one of the councils that forms UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). 

After almost 40 years of operation, HRPD retains its position as one of the leading high-resolution neutron powder diffraction instruments in the world. However, the scientific scope of modern crystallography and materials science in general has evolved over HRPD's lifetime; furthermore, both hardware and software capabilities have grown. In order to remain at the forefront of n​eutron scattering science in the coming decades, we plan a complete upgrade of both the instrument and its infrastructure.

The Project 

The HRPD-X upgrade will include provision of a new non-magnetic sample tank, a new complement of detectors (based on wavelength-shifting fibres), and a new building to house the larger and more capable instrument.​ 

The new building will aim to provide ample space for the new instruments, better staff facilities and allow for future adaptability should new instruments or experiments need to be accommodated. 
The new HRPD-x Building is proposed to be a 2-storey building built on the existing footprint. The proposed building contains a main Instrument Hall and supporting facilities such as Control Room, Meeting Room and Laboratory. The Instrument Hall brief includes a fully removable interlocking concrete mezzanine floor over the instrument. A6.3Tcrane is to be installed to allow for the lift out of the mezzanine floor panels and maintenance / replacement of elements of the Instrument. The Guide Tunnel is largely due to remain, with certain elements being removed and re-built including a portion the ‘F’ Section and with the entirety of the Guide Tunnel being re-clad. 

Our Role 

EEDN are engaged as Project Managers and Supervisors under the NEC4 contract, taking the project from its existing RIBA Stage 3 to full construction. In this, challenging environment, we engage in depth with the project stakeholders to ensure that the design, programme, costs, scope and risk profiles all align. 

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