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Nuclear Energy

NuclearA number of interesting issues surround nuclear energy. On one hand, large amounts of base-load electricity can be generated by  nuclear power stations with minimal emissions. On the other hand, questions surround the economic viability, and perceived risks and public acceptability associated with powerplant operations and radioactive wastes. Within a UK context, there are currently 14 Advanced Gas Reactors, 1 MAGNOX, and 1 Pressurised Water Reactor operating — these generate around 18% of the UK's electricity production. The majority of the current reactors are scheduled to be decommissioned by 2023.

Research at The Open University focusses in two main areas. The first area looks at improving the characterisation of materials that are contained within these reactors. OU research informs appropriate strategies to prolong plant lifetimes. OU research also considers the properties of materials needed for future reactors that may be constructed in the UK. The second area looks at nuclear policy and its impact on energy generation scenarios within the UK and for other countries that are developing nuclear power. 

OU Energy is a key partner within the ICO Center for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy 

Further Information

For further information on OU nuclear energy research, please contact Professor William Nuttall (Professor of Energy):

Telephone: 01908 653100