Nuclear future focus

09 November 2011

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Nuclear experts gathered in Bristol this week for the launch of a new centre of national and international importance in nuclear research. The Nuclear Research Centre, a joint venture between the University of Bristol and the University of Oxford aims to provide leading edge and innovative research to support the safe operation of current and future generation nuclear systems.

Professor James Marrow, Co-Director of the Programme in Nuclear and Energy Materials at the Oxford Martin School is among the highly professional team of scientists, engineers and external experts working to underpin future developments in nuclear safety and economic operation at the Centre.

The Centre is seeking to ensure continuity of the nuclear community while safeguarding an expert knowledge base and providing leading edge research to support the nuclear business community. This builds on the advantages of strategic alliances with EDF-Energy, Rolls-Royce and AWE (Atomic Weapons Establishment); the firm plans for new nuclear build in the South of England; geographical focus on nuclear research and the co-location of key nuclear stakeholders in the region.

A Community of over 100 Key Research Personnel in Nuclear Research

The centre assembles research groups at Bristol and Oxford, involving the Safety Systems Research Centre in Civil Engineering at Bristol, Chemistry, Physics and Materials Research in the Oxford Division of Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences, the Oxford Martin School, and in the Bristol Faculty of Science and the Interface Analysis Centre, Mechanics of Materials and Structural Integrity, Seismic Research in the Departments of Engineering at Bristol and Oxford and expert groups in Social Science and Law examining social policy and public perceptions.

As well as its research focus the NRC will be developing new skills and providing high quality graduates and post-doctoral researchers, capturing, sustaining and transferring skills related to the safe and extended operation of current and future nuclear systems and facilitating, via a neutral network environment, discussion on all aspects of nuclear futures.

NRC Themes:

Nuclear Futures: Modelling nuclear futures; new power systems; economic, social and environmental impact; sustainability and resilience; national and global policy; risk assessment; safety case management; non-proliferation strategies.

Advanced Research: Undertaking fundamental research in physics, materials including the nano-scale, chemistry, geo-sciences, engineering and exploring atomistic modelling, nuclear batteries, novel control and protection, smart sensors.

Applied Research: Focussed on current operational needs to ensure safe nuclear systems, lifetime extension, non-destructive testing, human factors and organisational safety, instrumentation obsolescence, waste disposal, new build digital systems assurance, system resilience, decommissioning, risk and uncertainty assessment.

Pic:By Lothar Neumann, Gernsbach [1] (Karlsruhe:Bild:Philippsburg2.jpg) [CC-BY-SA-2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons