Select Committee on Trade and Industry Written Evidence


Second supplementary memorandum by the Nuclear Industry Association


  The UK led the world in engineering the world's first commercial nuclear power station—Calder Hall, which started operation in the UK in 1957, and only closed in 2003.

  As a consequence, British universities have been teaching in the field of nuclear science and engineering for more than 50 years, and there are courses taught at many universities. These courses have developed to meet the needs of today and deal with all aspects of nuclear energy and radioactivity, from nuclear reactors to astrophysics, radiological protection and applications within medical and life sciences. British universities also undertake both fundamental and applied research work on nuclear science and engineering topics, and in many instances are amongst the world leaders.

  The following universities offer courses:


  MSc Physics & Technology of Nuclear Reactors: Unique in the UK in providing training specifically for careers in the nuclear industry.

  MSc Medical and Radiation Physics: This course provides training for a broad range of careers involving radiation including careers in the nuclear industry.


  There is an introduction to nuclear engineering as part of the third year Engineering course paper G10 "Energy & Power Generation". There is a module (C1) on "Nuclear Power Engineering" as part of the fourth year Engineering course. More details on the website.


  MSc Energy, Environmental Technology and Economics accredited by the Energy Institute, has been designed to develop skills in cost-effective management of energy resources.


  Nuclear Reactor Technology is a major option for fourth year undergraduate students in the Mechanical Engineering Department. This includes practical experience at the last civil nuclear research reactor in the UK. Staff have also provided introductory courses to both regulators and industry in the areas of reactor physics, reactor operations and safety management, and are always willing to talk about new courses.


  MEng in Nuclear Engineering. Lancaster University has launched a new course to train new engineers to design and decommission nuclear engineering systems. The course will provide a comprehensive education in engineering focusing on the design and operation of facilities that enable electricity to be generated in nuclear power stations.

  MSc in Safety Engineering. Two-year part-time modular masters course with nuclear industry specific modules. For engineers currently working in safety related roles who wish to progress in their safety engineering career in the nuclear industry.


  A modular MSc in Radiometrics is offered covering instrumentation and modelling. One week short courses in various radiometric techniques are also offered.


  The University of Manchester is home for the new Dalton Nuclear Institute which was established to implement the university's intention to be the UK's leading university in nuclear research and education and one of the principal international players in this field. The Institute provides the focal point for the University's nuclear research activities and interacts with external bodies nationally and internationally.

  There is strong growth in nuclear research funding at The University of Manchester, in particular through the University Research Alliances (URA's) with BNFL in the areas of radiochemistry and materials performance. These URA's represent an investment over the past five years of about £20 million from industry, the Research Councils and the universities. Other current research themes include nuclear physics, nuclear medicine, policy and regulation and fusion energy.

  The University of Manchester will be at the forefront in research into decommissioning and radioactive waste disposal where there is growing demand for innovation and technology transfer to support these disciplines. A new EPSRC assisted chair in Decommissioning is being established. Other new research themes will include Reactor Technology and Radiation Sciences.

  The University of Manchester also offers an unparalleled range of opportunities in postgraduate research in the nuclear field, leading to awards such as MRes, MPhil, PhD & EngD.

  Taught postgraduate programmes are offered in nuclear and radiation physics, materials and environmental impact.

  The Dalton Nuclear Institute is coordinating a consortium of UK universities and research institutes to address the UK's nuclear skills shortage. The Nuclear Technology Education Consortium (NTEC) will deliver an innovative MSc and CPD programme in Nuclear Science & Technology, receiving its first students in September 2005.


  MSc courses in Radiation and Environmental Protection and in Medical Physics and undergraduate courses in Physics and Nuclear Astrophysics all include some nuclear/radiation content.


  Offers undergraduate courses in reactor physics, environmental radioactivity and isotope geology; postgraduate teaching and research in environmental geochemistry and radioactivity, isotope geology and isotopes in biomedical and ecological processes.


  The Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) at the University of Dundee has introduced UK's first Master of Law in International and Comparative Nuclear Law.

  The one-year full-time Masters degree course will focus on international and comparative law and policies, regulatory frameworks and relationship between peaceful and non-peaceful use of nuclear energy for civil and military purposes. The emphasis is on regulation of health and safety, the environment, civil and state responsibility, international co-operation, and the nuclear fuel cycle.

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Prepared 21 December 2006