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University to host new Hub for nuclear energy research and education

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Press release issued: 26 September 2014

The University of Bristol will host a new Hub for nuclear energy research and education in the south of the UK thanks to catalyst funding of £2.43 million from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), alongside the University’s own investment of over £5.3 million.

Dr Tom Scott, Reader in Nuclear Materials and Director of the NRC, said: “Our objective is for the Hub to become an internationally recognised centre for nuclear research and education. It will bring academic and industrial expertise together in an exciting multidisciplinary environment to address some of the major engineering, scientific and societal challenges related to civil nuclear power generation.

“Through the development of a Masters teaching programme, the Hub will deliver the skills required by the next generation of the UK’s nuclear plant operators, regulators and supply chain.”

Building on the success of the Bristol-Oxford Nuclear Research Centre (NRC) formed in 2011, the Hub, which will open in early 2016, signifies a development of the existing NRC strategy by creating a dedicated physical presence at the University that will be accessible to both the UK and international nuclear energy community.

David Sweeney, HEFCE Director for Research, Education and Knowledge Exchange, said: “We are delighted to support the training of the next generation of nuclear engineers who will develop our future energy supply, address environmental clean-up and other concerns, and help to extend the life of our existing power stations. HEFCE funding will catalyse the establishment of this Hub and facilitate inwards industrial investment to ensure long-term sustainability and growth to the benefit of the UK.”

Strong support has been received from leading industrial stakeholders including: EDF Energy, the EDF Group, Areva, Sellafield Ltd and Rolls Royce. Governmental organisations and agencies such as the National Nuclear Laboratory, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy and the Local Enterprise Partnerships have also provided support.

Greg Clark, Universities, Science and Cities Minister said: “The nuclear industry has the potential to boost the economy and create thousands of jobs across the country. This important Hub brings together academia and industry to help ensure we have the right skills for these jobs. Our Nuclear Industrial Strategy sets out a long-term approach to develop nuclear energy in the UK and ensure Britain’s lights stay on, and bills stay down, over the coming decades.”

The Nuclear Research Centre (NRC), formed by the University in partnership with Oxford University in 2011, aims to strengthen nuclear energy related research and teaching in the region to support the delivery of the Government’s strategy on low-carbon, secure energy.

Further information

About the Nuclear Research Centre

The Nuclear Research Centre is a partnership between the Universities of Bristol and Oxford, its purpose is to provide leading edge and innovative research to support the safe operation of current and future generation nuclear systems.


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