University of Manchester: Manchester outlines key actions for nuclear energy

Nuclear experts at The University of Manchester have outlined some of the key actions needed to deliver a responsible nuclear sector in the UK’s net zero future.

‘Siting Implications of Nuclear Energy: A path to net zero’, maps the nine actions required to understand the whole nuclear energy lifecycle better, to help ensure the sector can realistically and responsibly deliver the scale of development required.

Authored by the senior leadership team at The University of Manchester’s Dalton Nuclear Institute, home to the largest and most advanced nuclear research capability in UK academia, the paper considers how policymakers and industry decision makers should tackle key issues such as spent fuel and waste management strategies, safety standards for licensing (and de-licensing) sites, the kind of legacy we might tolerate from our nuclear sector and the role of local communities in determining the suitability of sites for nuclear development.

Professor Francis Livens, Director of the Dalton Nuclear Institute explains: “In the UK, nuclear energy seems at last to be returning to the fore after decades of comparative, if productive, obscurity. With the expansion necessary to help deliver our net zero ambition and the new applications envisaged for nuclear energy, the limited number of nominated nuclear sites in the UK is insufficient. Delivering on these ambitions will therefore require new nuclear sites to be identified, and new communities to accept nuclear facilities.


Professor Francis Livens
In the UK, nuclear energy seems at last to be returning to the fore after decades of comparative, if productive, obscurity. With the expansion necessary to help deliver our net zero ambition and the new applications envisaged for nuclear energy, the limited number of nominated nuclear sites in the UK is insufficient. Delivering on these ambitions will therefore require new nuclear sites to be identified, and new communities to accept nuclear facilities.

Professor Francis Livens


“This is not a trivial task, and common to all discussions about nuclear energy generation is the ever-present question of waste. Now would be a good time to ask ourselves questions concerning our future waste policy.

“Delivery of nuclear energy is a complex process, and we must aim to understand the whole lifecycle if we are to make the right decisions. This report aims to further discussion on the matter and provides recommendations on how to use nuclear energy responsibly to deliver net zero.”

Co-author Professor Gregg Butler continues: “It is only by addressing this issue now, taking time to understand the impact of the whole lifecycle, that we can achieve the scale of siting required.

“In this paper, we set out recommendations for a future waste policy that – once in place – will ensure the path is clear for nuclear energy to deliver on its net zero potential.”

The paper has been co-authored by Dr William Bodel, Prof Gregg Butler and Prof Adrian Bull. Read Siting Implications of Nuclear Energy: a path to net zero here.

Dalton Nuclear Institute at The University of Manchester is a world-leading cross-disciplinary nuclear research institute, providing research across the whole fuel cycle, delivering impact to industry, governments and regulators, and supporting the UK’s long term nuclear ambition.

Energy is one of The University of Manchester’s research beacons – examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships that are tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet. #ResearchBeacons

Comments are closed.