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What does your group do?

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy Futures is a postgraduate training consortium comprising Bangor University, University of Bristol, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London and The Open University. We work with leading companies in the nuclear sector to support PhD research that aims to make a real-world impact in nuclear science, engineering and policy. Our vision is to train future leaders for the nuclear sector to innovate in and advocate for the generation of this source of low-carbon baseload electricity.

What will students see during your exhibit?

Students will listen to a short presentation about the various ways we generate electricity for society. They will then see a demonstration which explains nuclear fission – the splitting of a large atomic nucleus into two smaller nuclei and two to three neutrons, which then releases energy and creates more fission events in a chain reaction. The energy released from these chain reactions can then be used to generate electricity in a nuclear power plant.

What physics is used in your demonstration?

Students will learn about nuclear physics. Subjects include:

  • nuclear fission and fusion
  • kinetic energy
  • transfer of momentum
  • moderation
  • chain reactions
  • radioactivity

Why is it useful?

Nuclear power currently comprises the largest proportion of low-carbon electricity generated in the United Kingdom (~17 per cent). If the UK is to meet its emission targets, nuclear power, alongside renewable sources, must play an important role. It is integral that the nuclear sector is supported by innovative leadership that pioneers solutions in the areas of cost, safety and security and mobilises popular support for nuclear energy in combatting manmade climate change.