BEST Award

Background Information
NNL is committed to developing technical and scientific experts within the lab. As part of the process it is imperative that we recognise talent within the business and provide an environment in which technical excellence can flourish. Excellent science is fundamental to the success of the NNL and should be celebrated. The aim is to promote excellent science within the lab, and to promote NNL's scientific achievements externally.

As part of this strategy, in 2012 NNL launched an Award for the Best External Scientific or Technical (BEST) publication, with the BEST Award winner receiving the Lawrence Medal (named after former NNL Managing Director, Mike Lawrence).

Any external publication with an NNL employee as a principal author will be eligible for the award. The BEST Award runs by calendar year; The BEST Award 2014 was presented at the NNL Technical Conference on May 1st 2014. Details for next year will be added to this page once they have been confirmed.

BEST Award for 2013 papers
There were 14 submissions for the Best External Scientific or Technical (BEST) publication award this year. Each paper was assessed by a short listing committee consisting of the Chief Technologists (Mike Angus, Anthony Banford, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Stainsby) the Chief Engineer (Richard Taylor) and Laboratory Fellow (Nick Smith). A short list of 6 were selected on the basis of
• the technical and scientific content,
• the coherency of argument,
• the innovation and impact of the science.

The 6 finalists were Mike Carrott, Colin Gregson, Martin Metcalfe, Paul Ramsey, Howard Sims and Guy Whillock. This year the judging panel was chaired by Graham Fairhall, with Eann Patterson (Liverpool University) as an external academic, and Senior Fellows Joe Small, Colin English and Kevin Hesketh representing each of the business directorates. Many congratulations to the winner, Howard Sims, who received the Lawrence medal for the BEST Award at the inaugural NNL conference held on the 1st of May.

• R. J. Taylor, C. R. Gregson, M. J. Carrott, C. Mason & M. J. Sarsfield, Solvent Extraction and Ion Exchange 31, 442-462. (Nominated scientist: M.J. Carrott),
• M. J. Carrott, C. R. Gregson & R. J. Taylor, “Neptunium Extraction and Stability in the GANEX Solvent: 0.2 M TODGA/0.5 M DMDOHEMA/Kerosene”. Solvent Extraction and Ion Exchange 31, 463-482. (Nominated scientist: C. R. Gregson),
• M P Metcalfe, N Tzelepi and J F B Payne, “Evaluation of Instantaneous Coefficient of Thermal Expansion of PGA Graphite", Paper included in RSC Publishing Modelling and Measuring Reactor Core Graphite Properties and Performance (2013), DOI:10.1039/9781849735179-00017
• P. Ramsay, “Mechanical Property Measurements on AGR Core Graphite Using Electronic Speckle Pattern Interferometry”, Modelling and Measuring Reactor Core Graphite Properties and Performance, RSC Publishing (ISBN 978-1-84973-390-8), p61-68
• Howard E. Sims, Kevin J. Webb, Jamie Brown, Darrell Morris, Robin J. Taylor, “Hydrogen yields from water on the surface of plutonium dioxide”, Journal of Nuclear Materials 437 (2013) 359–364,,
• G.O.H. Whillock* and C.J. Donohoe, “Localized Corrosion of Stainless Steel in a Nuclear Waste Cooling Water System—Part 6: Testing for Stress Corrosion Cracking Susceptibility”, Corrosion: January 2013, Vol. 69, No. 1, pp. 9-14,

Other Submissions
• Norman Bird, “A New Approach for Assessing Operational Nuclear Security Performance - An Overview”, NNL publication
• Howard Greenwood, Tahera Docrat, Sarah J. Allinson and Duncan P. Coppersthwaite, “The National Nuclear Laboratory’s approach to processing mixed wastes and residues”, WM2013 Conference, February 24 – 28, 2013, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
• Hugh Godfrey, Chris Broan, Andrew Diggle (SL), Dave Goddard, Nick Hodge, Robin Orr, Guy Woodhouse, “Uranium metal reactions with hydrogen and water vapour and the reactivity of the uranium hydride produced”, Global 2013
• M P Metcalfe, A W Banford , H Eccles and S Norris, “EU Carbowaste project: Development of a toolbox for graphite waste management”, J Nucl Materials, Vol 436 Issues 1-3 May 2013 pages 158-166,
• Graham A MacKay and Mark Ogden, “Target: Continuous Production”, The Chemical Engineer, Issue 860, February 2013
• Robert Mills, “Uncertainty Propagation of Fission Product Yield Data in Spent Fuel Inventory Calculations”, Nuclear Data for Science and Technology conference in New York, March 2013 approved to be published in the peer reviewed journal "Nuclear Data Sheets" in June 2013.
• Dave Bartels, Jim Henshaw, Howard Sims, “Modelling the critical hydrogen concentration in the AECL test reactor”, Radiation Physics and Chemistry, Vol 82, p. 16, Jan 2013,
P. Styman, J.M. Hyde, K. Wilford and G.D.W. Smith, “Quantitative Methods for the APT Analysis of Thermally Aged RPV Steels”, Ultramicroscopy, 132, pp 258-264, 2013,

Winners of the Lawrence Medal
2014 - Howard Sims
'Hydrogen Yields from water on the surface of plutonium dioxide', H. E. Sims, K. J. Webb, J. Brown, D. Morris, R. J. Taylor, Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2013 (437) 359-364.

2013 - Mark Sarsfield
'Raman Spectroscopy of Plutonium Dioxide and Related Materials', M. J. Sarsfield, R. J. Taylor, C. Puxley, H. M. Steele, Journal of Nuclear Materials, 2012 (427) 333-342.