Catalyst Funding covers phase one of the project, to create a physical Hub to facilitate collaboration on research and teaching and a home for the Nuclear Research Centre. In phase two the Hub will seek to create significant new interdisciplinary laboratory facilities supporting world leading nuclear energy research.
The NRC represents civil nuclear energy research being undertaken with expertise drawn from a wide range of traditional disciplines across the academic sector in the south of the UK. These are structured into themes such as:
This research is on current problems and those up to ten years away, for example:
- lifetime extension
- safety systems
- plant monitoring.
This research is ten to twenty years away, for example:
- computer systems
- engineering design.
This research is twenty to fifty years away, for example:
- policy and finance
- energy portfolio.
The nuclear energy skills gap, an urgent need for a supply of top engineers and scientists, is now well established. To help meet this challenge the University of Bristol has launched a new interdisciplinary MSc in nuclear science and engineering which will bring together the best of the two faculties to deliver graduates which are ready to have an immediate impact on current challenges in the UK.
Delivered within the context of nationally leading research in the Hub and developed closely with industry, the MSc will equip students with a thorough grounding in the underpinning scientific and engineering principles as well as a familiarity with the nuclear industry’s unique professional standards and safety culture.
The course will cover:
- the life-cycle of nuclear reactors
- fuel extraction, enrichment and fabrication processes
- how the fuel behaves inside the reactor
- the physical processes used to extract useful energy from nuclear fuel
- behaviour of spent fuel in storage
- potential future solutions for nuclear waste
- important aspects of decommissioning.
The key themes of this project are:
- fundamentals of nuclear science
- nuclear reactor physics
- nuclear fuel cycle
- nuclear reactor engineering.